Sometimes it’s just not your day, right? We all have days where every little aspect appears to go wrong – worse though, what about a whole life born under the wrong star, a whole life where luck seems to pass you by in favour of others.
Without cluttering the narrative, Stephanie Silver’s Lucky 8 takes the simple premise of telling the tale of a work-place week, but from two perspectives. Despite moments of interaction, the prevailing make-up for the show is two monologues – first from Marcy, a superstitious queer woman who struggles in her day to day life. From awkward encounters at work, bad relationships and caring for her adoring mother, who suffers from MS, Marcy very much considers herself unlucky.
After colliding (quite literally) into a new colleague she has a thing for, a quick succession of feelings overflow as Silver’s language paces itself with emotional intensity. What follows is an engaging series of tender moments, with Silver nabbing the laughs throughout Lucky 8 through her scattered, nervous performance as Marcy, balancing out the more serene, controlled stature of her co-star Velenzia Spearpoint.
Spearpoint takes a more intense, mature approach to their character’s self-esteem and life with far better-concealed anxiety. A wife and mother pushed to breaking point following her husband’s affair, Spearpoint’s unnamed character finds herself seeking answers from a magic eight ball – a pretty low point for any of us. There’s no skirting or airs and graces to the production, which happily embraces the characters’ choices and nature. It is an honest depiction of fluid sexuality as Marcy’s crush struggles, not with her feelings for another woman, but rather with the realisation that her marriage is no longer one of love but for convenience.
This secondary story, told from Spearpoint’s perspective ties together the loose ends, but eats up more time in explanation and ultimately sacrifices closure, or at least a sense of where the narrative will continue rather than simply ending. Where an open-ending offers promise, Lucky 8 leaves the fates of the two up in the stars, offering the audience less to takeaway.
The pair keep their roles grounded, with motions of ‘quirkiness’ feeling natural for the role of Marcy, which speaks volumes to America Lovsey’s direction. Things are kept clean, without overstepping the mark or attempting to shoehorn emotion. Silver’s writing is genuine, blunt and pushes for humour in droves without feeling forced. Lucky 8 flows naturally, and with tightening in places, there’s heaps of potential for a fully-staged performance.