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Camden Fringe 2010

The Museum of Us

On Your Marks

Genre: Drama

Venue: Etcetera Theatre


Low Down

On Your Marks Theatre Company brings to you a touching piece of new writing ‘The Museum of Us’. This moving play tells the story of three girls who are brought back together under tragic circumstances to clear up what is left of their childhood.



The play begins with a sentimental video of Emily’s life which consists of memory montages and touching narration showing Emily’s years from childhood up until her tragic death at age 21. The audience are introduced to Emily’s attic which is an explosion of the 90’s and serves as a perfect time capsule of Emily and her friend’s childhood that Emily had preserved in the hope of never having to grow up.


Emily’s funeral was rapidly approaching so her childhood friends Harriet (Helena Johnson), Lisa (Kelly Russell) and Roz (Madeleine Scott Cree) return to the attic to sort out Emily’s things and claim their old toys and trinkets. The first impression of the girls was that their characters appeared somewhat two-dimensional. It was made very obvious that Lisa was the ‘crazy one’; Harriet was ‘the smart one’ and Roz, who aptly labelled herself as a “chic geek”. However,  it was pleasing to see that as the play progressed each of the girls’ characters began to unravel to reveal some of the harsh realities they were facing in their lives, which they were once sheltered from in that very attic.


“No Boy’s, No Parents, No Homework”. These were the only rules that had mattered in the attic when they were young.  During the play the set of the attic serves as a tool for changing location and scenes. Cloths, clothes and toys are used to swiftly change between each scene and memory, meaning that the audience do not have to suffer any long and clunky blackouts and keeps them firmly in the attic and the girls’ memories for the entire performance.

The play follows Lisa, Harriet and Roz as they grieve and sort through the attic, finding lost favourite toys and hidden treasures as they go. The girls begin to regress at times into old childhood games, such as the very well executed “Barbie Life Stories” and Star Wars Light Sabre battles with torches. Stuart Mason should be particularly commended for creating fantastic sound for this production. It enhances and brings substance to the 90’s flashbacks and monologues by playing old songs on cassettes such as the Spice Girls and Take That, and playing adverts of Button Moon, Super Ted and Biker Grove.


The writers, Teresa Burns and Madeleine Scott Cree, should also be commended for creating a great balance between the comedy and the tragedy of the girls’ situation, highlighting that grief is never as simple as one emotion. As we watch these girls re-live their childhood memories, we encounter an eclectic mix of comedic past times as well as more poignant moments that bring the harsh realities of the girls’ purpose of being in the attic to the surface.


On Your Marks Theatre Company claim that they make “youthful, contemporary and exciting” theatre and The Museum of Us is exactly that.




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