Review: Happenings (The Space, online)

Three thirty-somethings grapple with life in this new black comedy from Not Your Muse Theatre Company (newly-formed and female-led), written by John Berry.

Zo Biba-Leonard (who plays Fran), Elly Tipping and Rachel Kimber comprise the company core – joined here by cast members Grace Collett (Jane), Tom Hobart (Joe), and Neil Russell (Jim/Chaplain).

Matt Turpin directs this story of time, place, boredom and mental health. As Jane pushes for something to happen in life, how will it affect the group dynamic?

From the unsettling opening scene, we know – or think we know – what is going to happen up on that stage as the story progresses. It is important to mental health to feel, talk, and relate to the world around us and how it makes us react. We could all be Fran, Jane, or Jo.

Production shot from Happenings

With a script that mixes inconsequential conversation with direct chat to the audience, Happenings might have the odd issue making its various locations apparent, but there is definite potential here.

This is a show for those who struggle to recognise their value in the world; and those who seek to understand them. These friendships feel real, but at just an hour’s duration I’d like to spend more time with each of the three main characters to find out more.

The ending is bittersweet, too, with cards remembering those who were lost to suicide and couldn’t be helped. For them, Happenings stands as a valuable and thoughtful resource.

Happenings is available on-demand via The Space – book tickets for access until 11pm on 3 July.

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