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Edinburgh Fringe 2012

All the Things I never Said

Z Theatre Company

Genre: Drama



Low Down

Z Theatre Company presents “All the Things I Never Said”: A dramatic piece about a group of passengers standing on a platform waiting for a delayed train. Being stuck in the same situation sparks conversations between the strangers, and each one in turn has a personal scenario where either opportunities to speak up and be heard are missed, or their unspoken words may at times have been fortuitous. It is their personal predicaments that have led to their being on the platform that day.


The PA crackles into life and the disembodied station announcer informs the impatient travellers that their train is delayed. The announcement provokes the inevitable grumbling and random conversations spark up. The camaraderie allows the conversations to bloom, yet each character only reveals a masquerade of the life they want to project.

Under the facades we meet a diverse range of characters, such as a young woman whose best friend has announced her engagement. The girl is drunkenly wishing them well and recalls the beginning of their friendship and how much her friend has meant to her over the years. It soon becomes apparent that her love for her friend is more than straightforward but, as her speech becomes more maudlin, the others brush her aside and perhaps for the good of their friendship, she never does reveal those fatal three words. A young girl playing with dolls is living her life trapped between two warring parents, their clumsy neglect of her leads to her creating an imaginary friend which neither parent copes well with. She is alone on the platform, abandoned by her parents who are clearly too preoccupied to take care of her responsibly. The set is minimal – The only prop is an old trunk that is pushed around to either be a chair, toy box or small podium. The players swap between being the point of focus on the platform, the main story line, and/or extras in each others’ lives. At the end of each of the individual stories there are dramatic freezes where the unspoken words are revealed and the characters secret is realised.

The concept of this piece has a strong foundation but I felt the cast and the script needed more time to develop. Some actors carried their parts with more believability than others, and in some scenarios the weaker roles felt exposed, but this piece is fertile ground and the actors showed commitment. The direction is slightly clunky; there appeared to be much marching off and on between scenes, and it’s not until the older woman’s story that the cast really use their brief off stage time to enhance the centre stage action, I would have liked to see that device used more.
As the audience entered, the cast – in costume but not in character – were milling around in front of the stage talking and laughing. In the background, cheesy hits such as Fleetwood Macs “Dreams” play through the PA, and the cast speak informally to the audience, asking them if these songs mean anything to them. They then use this opportunity to steer the audiences’ thinking into one of reflection, where the music heard may be significant, or was there a time when they wish they had said something and didn’t. This was unnecessary as the message in the work was clear.
Despite these technicalities, “All the Things I Never Said” was definitely food for thought. It dealt with strong themes that that this young company endeavoured to rhythmically pull together. Tightening up the timing, developing a more creative directive style and dispensing with the superfluous introduction would make this a powerful piece.


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