Director: Bella Forshaw
Sean and Lemon are two old school friends who are now trying to write a movie that will make them Hollywood stars, or at least Hollywood writers. Their enthusiasm for the task is not backed up by a shared idea of what the script should look like. It’s probably not even backed up by two separate ideas of what the script should look like. They’ve gone on a writer’s retreat to try and finally nail down an idea and a script. The problem is that, as they wrack their brains to develop an idea, an unpleasant memory from their past is the only thing that emerges.
The play moves between the present day at the retreat and the day of the events that are now coming back to them, but the event itself is more alluded to than revealed in either of the settings. It’s one of several gaps in this production that means it fails to get beyond an interesting, if not entirely original, premise, in spite of some strong performances from the cast.
We don’t find out how real the dream of Hollywood fame actually is, and we don’t find out why the two friends have remained in contact with each other after the original incident. There is an absence of substance and it feels as if the play is trying to deal with the fall-out from something without knowing what the something is. The initial conversation in the retreat also lacks any real depth, as if it’s going through the motions to set up the story without giving us any sense of Sean and Lemon as three-dimensional characters with a history.
Theatre Paradok note that their work is built through a collaborative process with the actors and incorporates physical theatre and other experimental practices. The play has a director, but there are no writing credits. It ends up feeling like a collection of good ideas that need to be taken further, given substance and built into something that makes the most of the performing talents of its creators.
Run from 16 to 21 August 2021 | Image: Contributed