Writer: Tabby Lamb
Director: Jo Tyabji
Having pivoted into the audio play arena during the early days of lockdown, 45North’s Written on the Waves audio play series continues honing creativity and talent as it embarks upon season two. Darling is the latest instalment from second season of the series, which consists of six audio plays released fortnightly. 45North advocates for work by female-identifying and non-binary artists.
Darling is written by Tabby Lamb an East London based non-binary writer and performer. They describe the audio play as ‘an ode to magic, adventures and messy queerness’. David Hoyle stars, delivering the monologue in a soothing tone. This, plus the references to the story and characters of Peter Pan woven throughout the topical play, gives the audience an almost ‘bedtime story’ experience.
The audio play illustrates the concept of ‘messy queerness’ in the form of coming-of-age anecdotes; the first crushes and the insecurity and self-doubt that plagues adolescence. The use of the sounds of water rippling in the background during one such anecdote works well in enabling the audience to conjure up its own vivid mental image of summer days swimming with friends, as the protagonist begins to make sense of who they are and who they will become.
This idea of ‘messiness’ is later contrasted in the latter half of the play, with what Lamb refers to as the ‘gentrification’ of the queer communities and networks that were once peer led and built organically. Lamb’s writing alludes to a reluctant acceptance of the change towards support for the queer community becoming more officially recognised. However, there is undoubtedly an element of dismay for the new norm of commercial values over community, a loss of anarchist spirit and the continuance of cis hetero dominance.
With a run time of around 40 minutes, Darling is a captivating audio which beautifully explores the complexities of blurred lines in communities and the fluidity of gender.