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The third entry in KickItDown’s digital sharing adds a new level of emotional intensity, presenting three plays exploring the courage and honesty.
The Time Is Now by Joe Meegan is a cringe-inducing comedy that sees Jamie attempting to declare his love for long-time friend, and work colleague, Jen. Following all the usual faux pas of grand romantic gestures, things don’t go at all as he had planned.
Director Robert Thorpe-Woods cultivates a fascinating atmosphere from the offs, setting Jamie’s stakes immensely high and leaving him to paddle upstream in a flurry of confusion. Daniel Chrisostomou’s performance as Jamie is fully committed to the intentions of the scene, delivering a performance that is hilarious, but also incredibly touching. Emily Rose Ambler gives Jen an ethereal quality, making Jamie’s infatuation with her clear to understand, whilst keeping the scene open as to how his advances will be received. Full of humorous devices — such as the song Jamie has written for Jen — this play presents some wonderfully complex characters.
Delivered as an audio performance, writer Martha Reed brings us a touching reflection on adoption, in her monologue Seaside. Manon is meeting her birth mother for the first time; standing on the beach awaiting her arrival, Manon wonders why exactly she wants this reunion. Exploring her relationship with her adoptive parents and her resentment over being given up she struggles to choose the right thing to do.
The feeling of abandonment is painfully clear in Reed’s text, she allows Manon to arrive at this moment in her life with the weight of everything that could have been, had she not been given up. As the words flow, you see that it’s not all about the anger of the past, but also the fear of what’s to come when she meets this woman. Nadia Wyn Abouayen performs the piece with a striking vulnerability, she seems as though she is constantly fighting back the urge to run from the beach and push this moment away, but something keeps her there.
My Heart Is Not Home, a monologue by Clare Campbell, is the third and final piece in this sharing. Sat in her car by the sea, a woman curses the parking meter that ticks her time away — time which she desperately needs to put her thoughts into words and work out how to say them. Thinking about a man from her past, she dreams of having the courage to pull herself up to a place she longs to be and find happiness.
Campbell’s extended metaphor is cleverly written and helps in engaging us with this character’s struggle, as well as giving her a focal point with which to arrange her thoughts. The immediacy of time that is given by the parking meter, like a looming deadline, is a brilliant expression of the impulse that we all crave at times, driving us to make decisions that could otherwise be put off and lead to years of angst. Through Chris Hallas’ direction and Emma Bowen’s superb performance, the need this woman feels to gather her courage, despite all her regrets, is palpable and incredibly endearing, building a very vivid picture through a simple audio recording.
Each of these plays deals with an internal struggle and the strength of character it takes to compose those thoughts into actions. Whether it is a need to express love against the fear of rejection, the conflict of wanting someone that didn’t want you, or the anxiety that comes from having to end an unhappy relationship; the emotions and thoughts expressed are so innately human and deeply moving to experience.
Digital Sharing 3 is available to stream online, visit the KickItDown Productions’ website for more information and to watch.