A Suitcase. A Toothbrush. A Ball Review

I love that Live Theatre offers chances for young people to create, and act on, its stage. Sunday night, Newcastle, and the theatre was packed.

The Light showed characters across millennia opening a Tardis-like blue suitcase, and finding the objects which their hearts desired, whether they were vampires or extreme roller-bladers. As the suitcase chose its owners, the audience rightly chose to laugh and applaud at the witty dialogue and wild imaginings.

Look When You Have the Chance involved great ensemble work as the cast passed the suitcase around the train station. Like the childhood game of pass-the-parcel, each character told their story while they held the suitcase, and quickly – as their train was about to arrive.

I always think that airports are like ripe mangoes – full of juicy tales. And so it was with the three scenes in Fear of Flying. I enjoyed the black humour in scene 1, where three people sat on a plane: one with allergies and anxiety; another using her mobile phone, and the third – an old woman (played by a young male actor) – who revealed the macabre contents of her little suitcase, just before take-off. With scene two, we meet four different men in one airport, with lots of tales. And in the final scene, we eavesdrop on a truly honest conversation between a young man, uncertain about flying home to visit his parents, and a rather talkative barman.

Tick kicked off the second half with edge and speed. The cast moved seamlessly, in apparent Brownian motion, saying lines such as “Eat. Sleep. Bored. Tick”. And we were asked – if we only had 15 minutes left to live, what would we do? “Housework. Clean our teeth. Talk?” Too mundane for our last 15 minutes? But can our lives really be exciting every minute of every day?

And so it seemed fitting that the final piece, 300 Left, was a story of survival. As many animals are safer in, and hunt in, packs, this play asked whether it’s safer to be in a tribe or out. Does each tribe need a leader and, if so, how do they appoint one? But what if a leader appoints themselves, only to lose the respect of those who are supposed to follow them?

Teresa Kirby
Guest Blogger, March

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