The unwritten rule is that strangers must not speak to one another on the underground. But what happens if they do?
Missed Connections, a brand new 3-act drama by local writer Rachel Jarmy on at the ADC through Saturday 3 October, poses the question in a simple but effective tube train set.
The result is a well-executed, well-presented treat, with acting throughout consistently of a high standard - a difficult feat to pull off with the audience literally ‘in your face’.
Viewers are seated very close to and opposite the performers' chairs, making them part of the play. With the extras hopping on and off the tube, people sitting, standing, huffing and puffing and timely sound effects, the audience are pulled in to feel they are listening to real conversations on the tube.
Directed and produced by Cat Nicol the ‘Between the Bars’ theatre company, the actors performed three scenes, all short stories in their own right, connected by the theme of the unwritten rule: what happens if strangers talk?
The first story starts with a woman dressed as a horse who begins a conversation with the conservatively dressed gentleman next to her – but is she just horsing about or is there a more serious angle to her delving questions? A quirky tale with some smart angles, well told by actors Emma Viaceli and Andrew Ruddick.
The second plot involves two women who start to chat – and ultimately find it’s easier to discuss difficult subjects with a complete stranger than with their nearest and dearest. Played by Sarah Ingram and Kirsty Smith, the acting was very true to life and cleverly nuanced – the initial reluctance and discomfort when someone speaks to you uninvited on the tube was all too apparent and the development of the comradeship was carried out very well.
The third act, with Jodie Haughton and Ian Bruno, was a charming portrayal of two strangers, who find they have a lot in common as they both head for their respective blind dates.
Well done for this short but sweet evening's entertainment.