This 18 minute piece, which runs until today at the Living Record virtual venue, is about a couple who are getting back in touch via a video call after a period apart.
Stacey (Lucy Syed) and Curtis (Charles Lomas) were lovers but something happened to force them apart and into ghosting territory, not even into the friend zone.
The twist here is that each participant has their inner voice visible on the call to us, the audience, but not to each other. As they chat and reopen the door they so devisively slammed shut, we hear their innermost feelings.
Inner and outer voices give the relationship a hook and a reality. There are the misunderstandings, jealousy, the snide comments. These are two people who belong together but push each other apart.
When Curt asserts “maybe you’re right and we’re not good together”, Stacey says of her new lover, “he doesn’t make me smile like you do”. This is a tale taut with technology, with some clever flourishes and good performances.
The play is written by Liam Alexandru, and directed by Theodore Gray for Shipwreck Productions. It covers both well-trodden and new ground in its short running time – a one acf piece which ends on a question we would like to see answered.
I thought this production pulled back a bit from the possibilities tech can bring (and in fact was more intriguing at the points where Stacey and Curt met in the real world of their own imaginations). The inner voices could have been in VR or as game avatars, for example, rather than being present in each participant’s room.
However, it is a strong production with some good ideas and a sprinkling of potential, with well-written characters and a sense of place and potential.
Fringe review: *** (and a half)
Always on My Mind is available as part of the Brighton Fringe until 18 July: details here.
For more on Shipwreck Productions, go here.
LouReviews received complimentary access to review Always on My Mind.