The intimacy created by Colour Hoxton’s compact orange box of a theatre space is perfectly matched for the personally evasive and gentle nature of If We Ended This. Co-produced by Henry Eaton-Mercer and Laura White, this piece radiates the sporadic, non-sensical and sometimes disgusting thoughts we have in our heads when trying to work through a relationship. Whether that be with a loved one, friend, mother, father, abuser, stranger or even the internet itself.
Abbie Harrison and Abby McCann perform short, quick-changing scenes, each with a unique persona and differing approaches to human connection. Branching from elements of mime, physical theatre, monologue and witty dialogue, this piece truly stretches the limits of their talents which they confidently exude with ease. Their playful energy bounces from wall to wall as they morph from naughty children to awkward mask-wearing lovers. Despite their clearly opposing characters, and their separated circumstances, they share a constant drive of feeling lost in themselves, trying to decipher how to untie their own minds. Harrison and McCann’s performance opens up these multiple characters in order for us to then dissect them and relate to them.
The piece is a debut production for Entwine Theatre, however with the tight transitions and obvious depth in devising practice, you would have thought this was a performance of many. Furthermore, Chloe Lawrence Taylor’s impeccable writing speaks upon the wildly grotesque and mostly unspeakable depths of human behaviour. Whether that be collecting scabs, sucking baby teeth or reading horrific abuse from online, Lawrence Taylor paints her words with great ferocity.
Cesca Echlin’s confident direction gives this piece a fluid movement from action, to tension and to pure instilled emotion that perfectly complements the subject matter of the production. This underlying theme of consistently searching for a connection is aided by the quick transitions of dim purple lighting and an almost uplifting ticking soundtrack. These moments only last for the most of five seconds, however their pace keep us on the edge of our seats.
It is only at the end of the performance that we think we start to see glimmers of links between each circumstance. The intertwining of past dialogues from throughout the piece create a puzzle that we try to build in order to see the bigger picture. However, we never quite get there… perhaps we are not supposed to. Through the ages of characters we are shown, we can perceive how love and friendship matures and sometimes breaks. As these characters revolve throughout the piece, we may start to compare these perceptions of love and how we translate them into our later lives. How they can affect us, and what we still don’t quite understand. Having this constant guessing game of what love is, or what it’s supposed to be, grounds both performer and audience member in the reality of never being able to find a solid answer.
If We Ended This played at Colours Hoxton until the 19 June 2021. The performance will play at Camden Fringe this summer, so for more details on tickets, visit Camden Fringe’s website.