Indelible Images leaves a lasting impression in the memory awarded  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ by Guest Reviewer Francesca Mepham

 

Three new plays all exploring the impact of the memory on our lives was brought to the Canal Café Theatre for one night only. This collection was called Indelible Images and are effectively three short works that wrestle with an array of emotions from love to disappointment and grief to pride. With the finest array of actors devising these plays, it was clear from the outset this was going to be an evening of incredible theatre, which immersed the audience with tables set out for them to sit, creating a more informal and intimate atmosphere.

 

The first work, Sharp Edges, was a monologue written and performed by Amelia Sweetland and directed by Annie McKenzie. Sweetland is very engaging as Sophie, who is hosting a get together for her neighbours with just a table in the middle of the stage with spirits. On the outside she is a successful property developer but her vulnerability soon seeps through the cracks in her façade and the audience are introduced to her grief of losing a baby and a failed marriage. Sweetland flits between comic passages of comedy with pure heartbreak with ease. A theme of cleanliness is evident throughout the work, almost as if Sophie wants to wash away the painful memories perhaps with lines such as “ I like feeling clean” and describing the horrible smell of hospital disinfectant after a stay in a ward. A letter from Sophie’s mum giving her strength from a downward spiral, could have perhaps been explored a little more in the monologue, but added a sense of hope to the direction of her life. Although a work in progress with superb acting from Sweetland and skilful direction by McKenzie, Sharp Edges was a very affecting work.

 

The next short play presented by Octopus Soup Theatre, Ireland was A Talent For Lying written by Liam McCarthy and directed by Sarah Bradley. McCarthy and Sinead O’ Brien are a couple of twenty-somethings, unsure of life right now, but find themselves focusing on the future 50 years from now after a chance meeting at a café in their native Ireland. Aidan a writer, who “hasn’t written anything yet” is a shy and unassuming young man who says the wrong thing on numerous occasions. With wonderful subtlety from McCarthy as well as a great charm, he persuades a young psychology student Lucy to sit with him, the chemistry evident with O’Brien, who oozes a vibrancy that is infectious to Aidan, and the audience. Aidan seems to sometimes exaggerate his social life, which the title of the play could come relate, or Lucy’s bombshell she plants at the end of the play which seemed a little rushed leaving a sense of emptiness. The irony with ‘Lying’ being in the title of the work, is that it is an honest look at first encounters and attraction with all its awkwardness (greatly directed by Bradley), with the possibilities that can come from it.

 

Happiness Is A Cup Of Tea is written and performed by Annie McKenzie with Direction by Amelia Sweetland. It is simply one of the most powerful monologues you will ever see about grief. From the listening to the answer phone to hear her late mothers voice say the same line over and over again to McKenzie’s character admitting to being “not very good at funerals”, the reality of losing someone you love and inescapable feeling it bestows on you has definitely been captured in this work. The grieving daughter describes her mother saving the life of a man from throwing himself off a cliff is a tender account, a sense of pride is evident. The saved man writing a card with the words ‘Happiness Is A Cup Of A Tea’ seems to tell the a thousand unspoken ones beautifully. A simply outstanding performance was delivered by McKenzie, with a monologue that will be stunning further audiences in the future without a doubt.

 

Indelible Images is a bright light in the Camden Fringe Programme, a well put together programme and some of the finest short works you will see in London right now.

Indelible Images leaves a lasting impression in the memory awarded ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ by Guest Reviewer Francesca Mepham

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