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Breaking Up With Reality – Living Record Festival | Review

A show for our times, there is at least something relatable for many people in Breaking Up With Reality, even for those whose working lives have continued through the pandemic. Whether one has found oneself completely out of work, or working from home instead of in the office, reality has changed and something of a ‘new normal’ has arrived. It may not have settled, but nonetheless, the longer social distancing guidelines remain in place (and let’s face it, it’s going to take a while to vaccinate the whole world), the greater the wishes will be for some normality to return.

Nod At The Fox - Breaking Up With Reality

This is, it must be remembered, one person’s perspective, and ordinarily, I’d be carping on about the limitations of a monologue and how it would be better as a duologue, because at least the audience gets to hear the other side of the story. As a story about, well, breaking up with reality, however, it works: ‘reality’ is treated as the other half of a lifelong relationship that has suddenly come to an end, and while the narrator would very much like a reconciliation, circumstances dictate that one won’t be forthcoming for some time yet.

There’s even a health warning at the start, like those announcements just before a party political broadcast on television: “Everything you’re about to hear might just be a load of fluff.” Well – spoiler alert – it isn’t. With practically nothing else to do or think about, Eden Harbud goes into substantial depth about, for instance, the morning shower routine, or even how many times a piece of paper can be folded.

Many have found the time in lockdown to do things one wouldn’t normally have either the time or the inclination to do, like sorting out the contents of the loft, or even major renovation works. For Harbud, however, the psychological impact of stay at home orders leaves him momentarily paralysed: “There’s plenty of things to do, too many. I can’t do a single thing.” Visually, there’s the one still image throughout, almost forcing the audience into paying attention to the production’s soundscape, which is broad, to say the least. It’s a radio play in all but name, and it’s comfortable in its own skin.

The script amplifies the current uncertainties of life, and in doing so, whether it intended to do so, somewhat ironically provides some reassurance at this (wait for it) unprecedented time. There’s a serene acceptance of where we are, almost a metaphorical shrugging of the shoulders, as if to say, “it is what it is”, so we do our best to make sense of it all and go from there. Not everyone, of course, will agree with such a stance, but Harbud’s calmness is a refreshing change from the rage and aggression so commonplace elsewhere. The production has its laugh out loud moments, too, and it’s thoughtful and amusing in equal measure.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Nod At The Fox combines spoken word, recorded soundscapes and music to create an audio love letter to Reality. It’s hard having to only greet Reality with an elbow bop, but if we get any closer they will break our hearts all over again.

Music, Sound Recordings, Written & Performed by – Eden Harbud.
Intro/Outro Music Performed by – Dominic Roocroft, Ross Williams, Sam Williams & Eden Harbud.
Music Track “Elbow Bop” Performed by – Daniil Timofeev & Dmitriy Stoyan.

Breaking Up With Reality
by Nod At The Fox


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