by Caryl Churchill
at the Royal Court
You know when you really like someone and the more you see them the more you want to see them and be with them, well that’s how I feel about theatre. It matters not if I’m familiar with the play or the actors or the venue, it’s the whole process from when I’m selecting the tickets; canvassing my husband for funding; making the pre-show sandwiches; not sleeping the night before because I’m too excited; to the reading and re-reading of the programme; the hush of the audience as the lights go down; the staging; the sound; the costumes; the way the text is lifted from the page and turned into action and I dare not look away entertainment. …It enthuses me, it inspires me and thanks be to Chrissie for her excellent recommendation, it drives me to purchase…most recently tickets to take in my first Caryl Churchill (why did I wait?), last Thursday afternoon at the Royal Court.
Escaped Alone, although admittedly a lot went over my head, very gratefully provided me with fifty minutes of whilst I’m there and take home thinking material. It also introduced me to just one set, either Sally or Vi or Lena’s back yard, a perfect location to watch, listen and learn from the three friends and a neighbour who shared their afternoon with me. There was humour, there was understanding and there was anguish.
The characters were real and restless and doing their best.
The actors, my privilege to be in their audience.
And the play, thankfully available to purchase – so I’ve been happily exploring it further.
I won’t try and explain it to you, for my analytical skills are scarce, but I can relay that the dialogue was swift, conversationally, familiar – you know when you don’t have to really say it all, just a snippet of a sentence and your companion knows, and goes on with their contribution, which might fit or is completely off topic, but that’s OK.
You really get/got the impression that here were friends…and a neighbour…the friends have known each other for years, experienced together and now recollect and rejoice (almost) in their company. And Mrs Jarret (the neighbour), she might be a little nosy…but is good and kind and normal (well sort of).
The accents were spot on and the costumes, couldn’t have been better cast.
It was so satisfying and addiction feeding – thank you Chrissie.
(imaged sourced at google images)