Made available on a “pay what you can” basis, Will Jackson’s one person show, Yours Sincerely, produced by Quick Duck Theatre, and filmed at Bedales school in Hampshire, is a quirky black comedy about growing up, writing letters, stamps, communication, and lip synching.
A queer coming of age tale mixing communication, stories, orange squash and a touch of the ridiculous, this show benefits from a professional touch on the filming, going up close when needed to capture the full nuance of Jackson’s performance.
The letters themselves are of the “found fiction” type, assembled from a variety of sources and senders, but are delivered mainly in the same vocal tone, building an illusion of one person slowly revealing themselves through the medium of writing.
The sound mix sometimes loses the words, and it is a pity that the captions provided in the live performance could not have been transferred to the streamed version. Also you can’t make out the odd aside to the audience, which is a shame.
There’s never anything to criticise in my book when a bloke starts miming along to Celine Dion, but Yours Sincerely doesn’t quite move along as quickly as it could: there are numerous great ideas and a hint of sweetness here and there as a story is woven from the letters being read out, but there isn’t a clear plot thread to bring it all together.
The set is dressed with a desk, a lamp, boxes, a post pigeonhole set, a filing cabinet, which gives an office feel to the enterprise, but a sense of true time and space is missing. This is a daft and cleverly crafted piece of writing which may have benefitted from a more otherworldly setting.
Is Yours Sincerely worth a look? I think so, although it feels a little long at 55 minutes – at least to watch online. Jackson is an interesting performer and writer who acts with his whole body and clearly enjoys the experience, with good eye contact with the young audience (clearly up for the oddness of the enterprise).
Quick Duck Theatre is a company founded in 2018 by Will Jackson (Artistic Director) and Lucy Bird (Associate Director). Their shows are typically interactive with a fun and comic twist. They seem like a company to watch for future work.
You can contribute a donation of your choice (between £1-30) to view Yours Sincerely at Bedales website until the 14 May.