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If we Ended This at Camden People’s Theatre | Review

Witty, playful but with gravity, If We Ended This is an intriguing reflection on friendship, trauma and change. Perhaps the content matter is not handled with the consideration it might have benefitted from, however, this show is an intriguing exploration of the value of human connection.

If we Ended This at Camden People’s TheatreThe show is an anthology of friendship, potential romance and a communication breakdown. Two friends delve into their friendship – we are shown the nitty-gritty of intimacy and their friendship is truly believable. That’s pretty much the show – they become friends and then begin to drift, the dysfunction is compelling and becomes hard to watch.

That being said, there is a wonderful playfulness to Abbie Harrison and Abby McCann’s performances. Their clowning warms the audience to them, making us care about who they are and what they become. Clowning, excellent physicality and strong stage presence make this show an interesting watch – the performers have excellent chemistry and know how to play off each other.

Unfortunately, the show does jump around a lot, there are some parts of the show which come out of nowhere and lack the depth and substance these matters require. An eating disorder is thrown at the audience without much context or justification in the wider show. On the other hand, the show is fundamentally about female friendship and finding solace, solidarity and safety in that friendship, all the things in the show are things experienced by millions of women every day, so what happens in the play is certainly justified in that regard.

At the heart of the show were some really interesting questions about reckoning, how we relate to past versions of ourselves and how we disclose parts of ourselves to others. The lighting design was effective in portraying this, on the back wall was projected different scene titles, all ambiguous but guiding the sense of the show without becoming prescriptive.

Perhaps it dragged a little and could have been cut down a little. However, this is a good exploration of the power of female friendship and who we are to others and ourselves. I am always up for some good clowning and this show was compelling and intriguing.

4 stars

Review by Tom Carter.

If we Ended This runs at the Camden People’s Theatre from the 5th to the 8th of August. 7:15 PM

Presented by Entwine Theatre
If We Ended This is a play about intimacy. Though perhaps we shouldn’t say ‘about’. This is our expression of how intimacy fuels and governs us, how we lose ourselves in it and find ourselves in the fallout. Engaging with what it means to grow up, grow closer to others and grow into ourselves, this play revolves around ideas of connection and closeness, isolation and loneliness. A constellatory series of short vignettes performed by two actors, it draws on experiences of the past year in and out of lockdown and plays with the language we use and abuse in our struggle to define our relationships with others and the world.

In If We Ended This, we – touch starved and doubtful of the future – ask what it means to live in the world inside our heads and what it takes to build a life beyond at a time when intimacy has taken on a whole new meaning.

Supported by the Frederick Hood Memorial Fund.
Entwine Theatre is a collaborative ensemble of early-career theatre-makers. They foreground women’s voices, telling stories that respond to and reflect on our individual and collective experiences. They develop pieces through their own workshop and devising processes, creating work that questions, provokes, and changes the way we see the world.
Instagram: entwine_theatre | Facebook: Entwine Theatre | #IfWeEndedThis


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