Oliver Emanuel recently impressed with the terrific Prom so there was every reason to look forward to Videotape, expertly delivered tonight by 10ft Tall Theatre. This play considers place, dislocation and love suggesting the most significant events in our lives are not necessarily scheduled to happen in grand buildings but take place on street corners, in coffee shops, in our living rooms and on our sofas. But where are we when we’re not at home and what happens to our identity when we’re lost? What does being lost look like?
The use of film of Aberdeen as a backdrop both roots the action firmly in one city while also adding a timeless quality to the couple’s situation. And so to the couple: Hannah Donaldson and Mark Wood. Worthy of five stars each. Drama always conjures pictures of big movements and disproportionate reactions but riveting acting, like there is here, is composed of many minute movements of the face and body: a flick of a nostril, an ever so slight jutting out of a hip, a shifting of weight and a crinkle of a nose. This intimate, intense performance is a prompt to seek out art which is real, rather than the glossy and formulaic. And it’s funny too. Who hasn’t jumped into a taxi and wanted to repeat the immortal line, “Follow that cab!”?
10ft Tall Theatre aim to “access, build and inspire new audiences” in the North East and this is an excellent choice of play to achieve that. Being able to walk into Underdog, straight off the street, the essential quality of the set, the lighting and acoustics all seem to dispense with the weighty trappings that can go along with “going to the theatre” allowing storytelling to be the only focus. A poignant and unforgettable hour.
BSL signer tonight is Lesley Crear who can be contacted via North East Sensory Services.