“Where will you be a year from now?” the play asks all of its interviewees . People aged between four and 94 are asked personal questions about their life which is brought to life by the cast of A Year From Now through a verbatim and physical performance.
With such a vast group of interviewees with a range of ages, genders, abilities and disabilities, it’s probably virtually impossible to find anyone who can’t find at least one account, or even part of one to relate it. After all, have you considered where you’ll be a year from now? Or what your favourite time of day is?
It’s great to see such a flexible cast as the male accounts aren’t just played out by the men and the female ones aren’t just performed by the women which adds to the timelessness of the accounts.
It’s really heart warming to hear such optimism from all the various voices in the play as it makes it all the more relevant to audiences. With some accounts it’s particularly inspiring to see that they can be so positive after going through particularly tough times.
A highlight has to be Kate Goodfellow, playing a four year old boy. Children say the most bizarre yet entertaining things as it is but Goodfellow’s performance as the child is rather impressive down to the facial expressions, playfulness and innocence of a child that age. In fact, Goodfellow’s versatility to play anyone is completely captivating throughout the performance. The audience seem to particularly enjoy the the children’s television themes song medley that proceeded this account with old favourites like Power Rangers, Arthur, Rugrats and Pokemon.
There’s one account from a young woman with a brain tumour that is particularly captivating as there’s something endearing about her humour and stubbornness regarding her situation. Of course, audiences are aware that all of these accounts are real but it’s after the show when the audience was asked to send a video message to this particular person that made everything seem more real because suddenly there’s an actual person attached to the account and not just an actor saying their words.
Verbatim plays are a great way to tell the stories of real people. It’s fascinating to learn about the average person who you may just walk by on the street because, as they say, you never know what happens behind closed doors and sometimes these people have stories that deserve to be heard. A Year From Now is a great example of this and it will never stop being relevant.
A Year from Now plays Tristan Bates Festival until 9 July 2016. For more information and tickets, see the Tristan Bates Theatre website.