The lights go up on a simple but effective set - a mirror, two chairs, and a coat-stand in the corner - a sparseness that serves to foreground the characters and their idiosyncratic emotional journey. The lighting itself, along with all other technical elements, is gratifyingly simple and focuses the audience’s attention on the arrival of the first character, Mrs Josephine Wilson, a cancer sufferer.
From the start, Isis Davis, the creator and performer of this piece, was a revelation as she brilliantly inhabited all of her three characters. Whilst her pauses did not always feel genuine and some of her intonation was a little off, she certainly had the emotional depth to portray these characters with finesse.
The next character appears accompanied by an original piece of music with lyrics about the characters; this was a lovely little touch that was particularly well-executed. Standing by the coat-stand between changes in character, Davis switches her costume in full view of the audience, which serves as a visual symbol of the emotional side-jump she is undergoing. Davis transforms herself into the second character, Chelsea, a typical Essex party girl aptly described in the press release as an ’it girl’ without the ‘it’. Finally, Davis transforms herself once more into a troubled, young boy named Sam, who is rejected by society. She convincingly portrays his drug-addled, angst-ridden persona, and this leads to a moving ending.
Sheila Mander’s direction was simple, unobtrusive, and well thought-out. It was barely noticeable, possibly one of the best accolades for a director. Mander brought out the naturalism of the piece with a professional eye and allowed Davis to find her own way of illustrating the characters.
Partly drawn on Davis’ own troubled past, this piece is a testament to the true restorative power of theatre and well worth a look-in.