Writer and performed by: Sarah Cameron
Music: Paul Clark
Director: Suzy Wilson
Reviewer: Gemma Hirst
The Red Chair is a self adapted performance by Sarah Cameron that tells a story of a man, a woman and a little girl named inveesable who are bound together in the glum north of the world.
The Red Chair is a ghostly story with elements of Grimm’s Tales and old Scottish Folk stories about it. Yet somewhere in this dark and eerie performance, there are elements where parents can understand how to not bring up their children.
We expect this performance to be a straight forward one women show, yet it is perhaps best described as a more spoken word poetry performance, rather than a conventional piece of theatre.
There are elements in the performance, whereby there is a certain rhythm and pace to the script which make it feel as if it is poetry, instead of story being performed.
The space and set around Cameron is minimal and dark, alienating us and making us wonder what we are about to see, as well as the relevance it has to the performance. Being a one woman show, she utilises the space well and there are moments in this piece whereby she contorts herself and rolls around the white chair that we recognise as being the representative red chair, looking grotesque as she describes the man in this twisted family.
The man in the family is obsessed with eating food, thus there are courses in The Red Chair that we are asked to eat throughout the performance, although it is not immediately clear how the choice of food is relevant to the story. Never the less, we become acquainted with a mix of flavours.
The production has pertinent and political issues, surrounding themes of family neglect, abusive relationships and passive aggressive emotions. Some of which are hard to deal with as an audience member. We do not expect the story to move on to such a heavy topic; it changes the mood and dynamic.
The play is somewhat monotonous; there are elements in the story where it is difficult to discern what is going on and we are made to feel a little excluded from what is perceived to be the traditional Scottish culture.
The Red Chair would be well suited to an English Language student based audience, as there are sections in the show where the dialogue is full of clever use of linguistic skill, creating a real sense of fluidity to the piece.
This production leaves you with a refreshing outlook on theatre and a slice of a different form of storytelling.
Runs until: Sunday 26th April at Stratford Circus Arts Centre, London