Gathering Dust by 6th _Space Theatre Company takes a look at the harsh reality of the risks we take to feed our personal desires and the unforgivable decisions we make to protect our personal conceptual identity.
After months of being held captive, the admired journalist Charlie (Sophie Baker) returns back home, where her friends and family try to keep her safe as she re-enters into normal life. As time goes by, Charlie begins to battle with the decision of staying home with her partner Jamie (Rebecca Hyde) or to venture back out into the dangers of reporting in a war-torn country. Directed by Charlotte Ive, Gathering Dust provides us with a fascinating perception of truth and survival.
The play began on a melodramatic note in Act I. The actors’ blocking was uncomfortable and looked awkward. The relationships of characters—brother and sister or two lovers—were unrealistic when the blocking had actors talking a great distance apart. As Bobbie (Hannah Owen) confessed to Charlie about the hard times she was going through, Charlie emotionlessly stood on the opposite side of the bar with her back to Bobbie. Although, the concept of these distances between characters attempted to create the illusion of “walking on eggshells,” the direction did not seem genuine.
A major distraction in Act I was the party music. Music in a play should guide the mood of the dialogue. However, when Charlie was having a meltdown the music was upbeat and when Robyn (Isabella Caley) was mindlessly telling Charlie about her engagement to Ashley (Sam Mitchell), the music was loud and distracting. The song choices clashed with the storyline so much that lines of dialogue were lost in the tunes.
The redeeming factor of this play was that Act II was magnificent. Flossie Joseph’s writing really shone as the actors took her words to a whole new level. The interpretive choreography was a creative accent to the monologues. The second act characters played by: Ailema De Sousa, Martin Hojeberg, Jordan Gallagher and Caroline Menton brought out the beautiful and captivating features of the story. The rhythm of the Act II was both joyous and disheartening in all aspects of the script, direction and performance.
With this strong and talented cast, the 6th _Space Theatre Company’s Gathering Dust sparks the intrigue in the decisions we make to protect our own passions.
Review by Aly Chromy
21-25 February 2017
Lion and Unicorn Theatre
42-44 Gaisford St
London NW5 2ED, UK
Run Time: 1 hour 45 minutes, 15 minute interval