Writer: Hannah Roze-Lewis
Dear Beryl is a work in progress piece from the Moonlighters Collective, performed by Amy Allenbury and Hannah Roze-Lewis and this performance was at the Portland Works, Sheffield. The show is currently a “Work in Progress” performance looking for feedback with the ambition of touring initially across the North of the UK. This performance was watched via Livestream and not live in the performance space.
The live performances are regularly interspersed with recorded sections representing Social Media posts that develop the storyline and characters throughout the show. Mostly these recorded sections work well and complement the development of the show’s main themes.
The disbenefit of watching a streamed version of the show are apparent as in some sections the dialogue is unclear. Watching it this way also makes it difficult to judge the live audience reaction to the show: a key part of live theatre.
The show develops the relationships between product and personality, focussed on a healthcare app that, in its first iteration allows access to life saving medical procedures for everyone.
Allenby, in the first half of the show perfectly portrays the forceful and forward nature of the influencer before being worn down by the shallowness of the life and eventually betraying the trust of her only friend, the Roze-Lewis character (Ruth). By the end personality has beaten product and one of the key lines in the show highlights the complexity of this relationship and the danger of social media: “have fun playing pretend”
This is a well performed “scratch” performance that perhaps needs to give more of a role to the Ruth character, who seems to be diminished from a tech-entrepreneur to junior partner during the show.
Runs until 17th July 2021