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The final pieces in KickItDown’s digital sharing take a bizarre turn, with these three captivating original short plays.
Love in Lockdown is a tongue-in-cheek monologue by Jessica Norman about a woman navigating the highs and lows of a new relationship… with herself. Finding her perfect match in isolation seems like a blessing at first, a respite from the clawing idiocy of her work colleagues, but all her bad habits and criticisms quickly begin to grate, and she finds herself trapped.
In a wonderful performance by Cara Horgan, we see a brilliant representation of the tests we have faced living with ourselves, as well as our partners; at first our time alone seems like an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves, but as with Norman’s text, this leads to some great struggles of self-image, as well as exacerbating a great deal of mental health problems. Directed by Nessa Wrafter, Horgan’s charming approach to the text, and her slick delivery, bring a realism to this brilliantly witty piece.
Written by Caroline Wilson and Angela Moneke, CTRL + ALT + DELETE explores a situation that most of us can now relate to – the lockdown digital birthday party. As Maria rushes to put the final touches on preparations for Nina’s eighteenth birthday celebrations, things screech to a halt when Nina’s estranged father logs in just minutes before her arrival.
Within the issues it addresses, this is a deeply meaningful and personal story of disappointment and regret. The text reveals harrowing circumstances and leaves us to decide how we want to perceive the people involved. Unfortunately, whilst the feeling of an awkward birthday party is perfectly achieved, the piece is poorly executed in both its performance and direction, losing a lot of the intensity its text requires. Seeming almost improvised, the cast don’t have a clear understanding of their roles within the piece nor do their reactions to events seem to accurately represent the weight that their words imply.
Max Wilkinson’s Tina brings us a dark climax to this final sharing, with Kwame Owusu returning to direct after her work on Whiskey Wednesdays, in Digital Sharing 2. Trailing the inner thoughts of a woman plagued by her neighbour’s nosey cat, we are witnesses as she descends into a spiral of booze, paranoia, and blame.
Read by Honey Gabriel, this twisted narrative is given a warped sense of reality perfectly suited to the text and its representation of depression; through the rapid pace of its self-interrogation, the tension is built to a climax where she ultimately collapses in on herself. Nicola T Chang’s sound design feels like ASMR, which adds to the spine-tingling dread of Wilkinson’s words. Utterly captivating, there is a fascination to this monologue, quite like watching the water spin down the drain, faster and faster, tighter and tighter, until all of a sudden, it’s gone.
As with many of the other pieces in KickItDown’s series of sharing’s, these pieces go a long way to examine the human condition and our capacity for understanding ourselves and those around us, developing self-worth and compassion in an age where it’s so easy to attack and devalue one another. KickItDown is admirable in its commitment to bringing together the voices and creativity of so many wonderful individuals. With no budget, these artists prove that all you need is the passion to explore and the desire to share.
Digital Sharing 6 is available to stream online, for more information and to watch visit Kickitdown Production’s website.