Brighton Fringe 2009
Right Left. Wrong! Right?
Venue: Upstairs @ Three and Ten
Festival: Brighton Fringe
Two actresses explore how our minds operate by staging seemingly normal situations, but with a twist – starting with how a goldfish’s 1 second memory takes shape and developing into the dark repressed state of what we really think about things and how simple observations can trigger something that we want to say to people, but society doesn’t allow us to say. All based around an open mic night in a cafe.
It was a very brave piece of staging that we all saw this afternoon – a lone woman on stage at a cafe table putting on her lipstick with a far-away expression on her face kicked off what was to be an ingenious piece of theatre! Most of the action took place in this cafe following different characters as they had conversations and performed different turns at the very first open mic night.
The main women of the piece Lorna Duffy and Sofia Fernandez had a lovely working partnership as they took on many different characters ranging from a woman who has rhe memory of a goldfish and two women who copy each other’s words and movements deliberately, to Frankie Brown – a performer who wakes up with a man’s legs and Victoria Turlington – a harp player who doesn’t bother to play the harp, but comment on the english language and compare it to her scottish accent! Each character was tragic, yet funny and felt real despite being metamorphic caricatures of our repressed memories and functions. In many ways we could all connect to each character who was portrayed – for example, one character was a woman who couldn’t survive without her i-pod playing music in her ear. This appears normal – resonates with people travelling from one place to another with their earphones in.
However, this was pushed to the extreme…what if you literally couldn’t survive without the music playing? Collapsing every time an ear phone was taken out? A sobering moment indeed, but yet a cathartic reaction from the audience in terms of laughter every time this lady collapsed as her friend talked. The comedy was indeed perfectly timed, but enough so that you had a chance to reflect on what you saw. Beautifully done!
The performance in general was challenging, daring and exciting and just kept getting better and better as it progressed. The staging was simple, yet effective – on the stage a table and two chairs to signify the cafe, but what was particularly dynamic was the use of the back of the theatre to bring on Frankie Brown and her man’s legs! No one expected that and the whole audience was riveted.
What was impressive about the staging as well was the use of the audience – we got to experience odd mime acts with skin coloured cat-suits and flashing lights on top of their heads not only interacting with the audience, but one mime was on the stage and the other at the back and both women came together in the middle whilst hissing and making unusual noises at each other and the audience.
It gave the significant impression of the brain going into meltdown, not saying anything, becoming animalistic in its behaviour. That could be one interpretation, but someone might think it resembles something completely different. That’s what I became immediately hooked on to – the fact that it was suggestive and didn’t tell us what to think it was. That staging reflected this extremely well.
The major highlight though was the end, when all the performers came together to sing a song with a difference – everyone was crying throughout it! The song was about being let down badly. It started as being quiet and subtle and built up into this wonderful crescendo of emotion giving us the impression of how much emotions affect our behaviour, enabling the show to end with a bang, leaving us wanting more!
To sum up – a show that is definitely not to be missed. The quote on the programme ‘This physically charged performance offers an excruciatingly funny gaze into the undecipherable brain. Riduculous, absurd, nightmarish!’ definitely sums up this play well, sobering and above all, one of the best shows you will ever see.