A Slovenian research scientist living in London thinks back on the past actions that have lead her to this moment. Although the action predominantly happens in Claire’s (Valentina Ceschi) flat, very little happens in real time. Instead a narrator (Thomas Eccleshare) contextualises her situation, layering in exposition of when she explored the Slovenian mountains with her father as a child, against her more recent shunning by the scientific community for “witnessing” a Yeti on her last expedition.
The problem with all of this contextualisation is there is very little for Ceschi to do. She tries her best to look like she’s thinking about what’s being described, and in the moments of activity is quite compelling. However, because she’s often still and pensive, the narrator – animatedly reading at the edge of the stage – is a constant visual distraction. When there finally is some dialogue, not only does Eccleshare read the other character’s lines, but Claire’s also, over the top of her, almost negating any reason for her being there. With this audible and visual dominance of the narrator, it’s difficult to see why Eccleshare (also the writer) has made his short story into a play at all.
The story itself has some nice touches, though for every bit of visceral description there is a wordy, over-written passage sandwiched in beside it. And, for a production that is so heavily reliant on narration, it is lamentably delivered without any of the nuances in pitch and pace that make radio drama so effective. Eccleshare’s tale would be a good short story or dramatisation, but this hybrid is as frustrating as it is tedious.