Way Beyond the Blue – Theatre Upstairs – Review by Frank L.
Written and Performed by Nessa Mathews
Strictly this play is a monologue but the Woman speaks on various occasions with a voice which is that of Gavin Drea according to the programme. Music and songs, in particular ones which are evocative of America in the nineteen fifties play a large part in creating the ambience of post war America in which this piece is firmly fixed. The Woman is dressed in a brightly coloured cotton print dress which is of the period.
The set is somewhat different with a darkish pink wall on the right hand, a back wall which in the centre has a large rectangle of what looks like an abstract expressionist painting which would be more at home in the fifties in Manhattan rather than small town America. On the left hand side was a collection of picket, in disarray, fences intertwined with red flowers.
The Woman begins by describing the clouds passing by and the blue sky. She then describes her street using an imaginary camera to pinpoint the neighbours and the locale. She uses the imaginary camera to describe her day in this street including going to a party in the big house and meeting the son of the house. She is not at one in this world but she appears to become more content when she enters a jazz club with a pink pelican sign outside.
The piece is about seventy minutes in duration which is a substantial period of time to keep an audience’s attention with what at times appears to be a stream of consciousness. A certain pruning would ensure the piece at all times had a greater momentum. That said Matthews is always in charge and when the theatre is left images come into the brain evoked by her text.
DATES / TIMES:
08 December 2015 – 19 December 2015
7.00PM / Tuesday – Saturday
1.00PM (matinee) / Wednesday + Saturday
Nessa Matthews / WRITER
Sarah Finlay / DIRECTOR
Katie Davenport / SET DESIGN
Ste Murray / PHOTOGRAPHY & MARKETING DESIGN