Artistic satisfaction is not as easy to find during these unusual times – without the theatre, concerts, poetry slams or sofar sessions it feels as if there is a hole in our society where the performing arts should be. And once more Greengage have ventured to fill that hole with an evening of entertainment in a multitude of forms, culturally rich and all to be enjoyed from the comfort of our own home. Two Metres Apart is an hour of theatre, of music and of poetry delivered through Zoom on the technical device of our choice.
This evening’s performance is hosted by Robin Clyfan who quickly introduces us to the functionality of Zoom, and Greengage’s support for the Campaign to End Loneliness, all followed by roaring applause made possible with the magic of sound FX.
The show itself kicks off with Vella Lovell’s and John Garet Stoker’s performance of Madeline Hendricks’ Cole Miller Presents: How to Pitch a Movie over Zoom. Actress Emma (Lovell) is eagerly awaiting a call from writer / director / actor Cole Miller (Garet) with hopes of being cast in his new film. Little does she know that she does not only appear on his laptop screen but also on the screens of thousands of people as she has been selected as interview partner for Miller’s new webinar series and is asked to ‘share the mic’; and share the mic she does. How to Pitch a Movie over Zoom addresses the Black Lives Matter movement and manages to ask the questions that need to be asked without dancing around them. Because as Lovell’s character justly says, ‘people have been murdered, that’s why we are having this conversation’.
Wonderfully complimenting this powerful piece is Jade Anouka’s HERSTORY and other poems. In a melodic rhythm Anouka delivers her story of what it means to be a woman, of insecurity and love and lust and manages to take the audience on a journey of strength, weakness, struggle, and devotion. Her words serve as inspiration and a reminder that we are all in this together, we are stronger together and that we need to ‘be the problem that finds the truth’.
To close the evening off, Welsh tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas invites us into the world of the opera through his music programme Reunited. With a voice that Clyfan describes as ‘warm honey’ he delivers heartfelt songs from Faust by Gounod, West Side Story and Welsh folk. And so, it seems like the cherry on the cake when we get to pick his last song, the last performance of the night, by casting our vote in a clever Zoom questionnaire.
Clever is the right word to describe Two Metres Apart overall – it does a splendid job at being the monthly ‘entertainment fix’ we all need right now. And nobody can say that it is not for them because it does indeed offer something for everyone. The theatre enthusiast will be able to emphasise with Lovell’s struggle of being assigned the role of token black woman representing the whole Black Lives Matter movement without her consent. the poetry lover will be able to indulge in Anouka’s enchantingly powerful poetry, and the musicophile will find themselves taken in by Thomas’s tenor notes.
Two Metres Apart delivers entertainment, unity and a feeling of being able to come together in a space full of creativity, innovation, and power. And so, Anouka’s words resonate: ‘Be the problem that finds the truth’.
Two Metres Apart is playing online again soon. For more information and tickets visit Greengage’s website.