Imagine every observation we made in daily life came with visual imagery and commentary, portraying the inner detail behind every thought we had. That’s basically what Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers have created and performed with Hidden – the interweaving tales of six people, whose circumstances make you laugh, make you wonder and make you cry. Every character has their own motive which they happily break the fourth wall for, but simply cannot find the guts to bring to their reality.
Laura’s three characters consist of the not-so-funny Cara, the desperately single Claire and Nina, who’s purely stressed out. She’s done a powerful job in differentiating between these characters; and her Scottish accent as Claire.
On the other hand, Peter’s three characters include the common commuter James, the troubled heterosexual Gareth and Colin, whose email writing scene is easily the funniest of the show. What makes Hidden very enjoyable is how the scenarios, characters and locations are modern, identifiable and relatable. I’m sat on a train writing this review right now and I’m immediately reminded of the stark analysis in James’ daily commute, where most of what he says is true; there are common rules on trains that, if not followed, could prove costly. I would be very interested in hearing what potential characters didn’t make the shortlist, what secrets they had.
There were few props involved, minimal costume changes and a mostly blank stage which meant the focus was purely on the actors. My thoughts weren’t quite as provoked as the title of this piece suggests it may have been, but that could be because I just found the piece too funny for thought. Choice of music between changes is always a big challenge and one that in this piece wasn’t too bad.
Hidden is an enjoyable comment on some of the most identifiable stereotypes in today’s society. Well performed and strongly written, I can see audiences talking about this one for a while to come.
Review by Sahil Jon
The urban jungle. Six people, six ordinary lives and one thing in common. Everyone has something to hide, something they would prefer others not to know, some tiny piece of shame, something tucked away for the sake of appearance, something … hidden. But all lives cross and interweave, we pass in the night, meet eyes on a crowded train, click on a computer screen … we present ourselves to the world… we connect.
Hidden is a co-production with Harrogate Theatre under their associate artists scheme. The play text is published by Playdead Press. www.hiddenplay.co.uk
Performed at The Cockpit
2nd May 2014