A Year From Now (Expressed as a Haiku)
Me, a year from now?
Five actors, fourteen voices
Think, question, tell, dream
In the wake of political upset, with unprecedented news coming thick and fast and our phones buzzing near-hourly with ‘breaking news’ it can be challenging to call what will happen tomorrow, or next week. Caught in the thick of it all, scouring our news feeds for ‘damage reports’, time is constantly on our minds, and constantly marching on. What would you say if you were asked off-guard where you will be, a year from now? Are you where you thought you would be a year ago? What do you make time for? How do you spend it?
In A Year from Now, RedBellyBlack present reflections on these equivocal questions from fourteen people, collected over the space of a year, in a deeply moving verbatim piece.
A young man (Oscar Scott-White), dressed in blacks, sits in a plastic chair. His chin high, his knee tucked in and hands placed firmly, yet daintily in his lap. Yet the voice of a much older women comes from him, and his eyes flash and dance as she tells us, candidly, “In a year? I would like to still be here!”
Because the fourteen voices we hear are of people we cannot see, it is the five cast members that bring them to life. Their combined skill at lip-syncing, their physicality and mannerisms and the creative direction and choreography from Kate Goodfellow and Vicki Baron, allows us to forget that there are so few of them, and see beyond age, gender and nationality to the true characters behind the stories. Some of them, we are told, are in the audience among us that night. Designed so that they inter-lap, fourteen does not feel too many of too few for the hour long show.
In that time we hear from children, older people, new parents and individuals recovering from illness. One story that particularly sticks in my mind is that of a young women, a brain tumour survivor, told earnestly by Clemetine Mills:
“People always ask me, how did I do it? Stubbornness, that’s how”
I feel stubbornness is something we could all use a large dose of in the coming year.
Director: Vicki Baron
Set Design/Choreographer:Kate Goodfellow
Producer: Peter Collington