Fringe Online 2020
By Judy Upton, read by Tamla Karavertian, directed by Hannah Jenasius; produced by Lost Souls Monologues.
Lost Souls Monologues is a series of related podcast monologues really worth checking out and seem to be regularly updated. It’s a new resource. Monologues can be 12-16 minutes but some lie this one at 27 minutes push to a good half-hour story.
Judy Upton’s had a run of fine radio and lockdown pieces recently. The White Hart won an West End Oncomm award in June, her Signed, Sealed, Delivered a fine piece on students in lockdown was fast off the blocks on April 4th! Before that in August 2019 her Radio 4 play The Bulbul Was Singing about a woman who comes back from fighting with Kurdish women, and arrested as a terrorist. Her solution is one of those liberating moments of pure lawlessness that informs this podcast play too.
Tamla Karavertian narrates and Hannah Jenasius directs this initially harrowing tale of a woman who sells as she thinks half her eggs for a last chance at a fertility cycle. There’s a brief lacunae here. What happened? Whatever, we can guess, the narrator feels cheated, and what’s happened to the eggs?
Upton’s cleverness is not only to put you firmly on the side of a very fixated narrator but also to ask us directly what we might do, and whether her actions aren’t justified? Upton’s firmly on the side of anarchic natural justice as The Bulbul Was Singing proves.
Upton’s notches of logic are nudged with brilliance: her deep research is extremely well worked out and the actual narrative a granular run-up to an enormous yes. This is one of Upton’s very finest solo works, and just as certainly should be up for an award. Do listen to it and all the other 15 productions.