Dir. Aby Watson, Tron Theatre 14th-17th October
Whimsical, appealing and well-developed, Aby Watson’s multi-dimensional show ‘There’s No Point Crying Over Spilt Milk’ doesn’t hesitate to delve into heavy subject matter despite its initial lightheartedness. Watson combines song, discussion and physical theatre with live music from Alexander Horowitz to explore the pain of losing your grip on childhood innocence and encountering heartbreak and loss.
Watson’s personality abounds in her performance. In her recreation of childish enthusiasm and delight she is utterly convincing and irresistible, and has no trouble getting the audience to join in as if we ourselves are children experiencing a wonderful new game. The intelligence and sensitivity at the centre of the show emerge as Watson gradually transfigures this child-like fascination with simple musical and physical expression into an incisive conceit about how we cling to memory as a way of coping with the harsh realities of adulthood. But memory, as the show reveals, can’t be relied upon forever.
The show’s weak-point is that it sometimes gets bogged down in this, admittedly powerful, use of repetition. At times there’s a sense of the direction being lost. However, the sudden and dark twists are hard-hitting enough to jolt the audience back into the heart of the performance, leaving us genuinely moved and unsettled by the emotional rawness behind the story.
The performance owes a good deal of its impact to the subtle but effective incorporation of music from Horowitz, who allows the complex web of emotions conjured forth by simple chords on piano and guitar to resonate naturally with the audience. Although much more reserved than his co-performer, Horowitz’s flawless accompaniment to Watson’s strong performance carries the show, and the pair gel together very well onstage. The implication of an unspoken bond of trust between them serves as a reminder that new friendships and possibilities can be a great source of comfort in the apparent isolation and bitterness of adult life.
All in all, ‘No Point Crying Over Spilt Milk’ is a powerful new work that is sure to defy expectations, and heralds exciting things to come from its young creators.
[Cat Acheson – @cat_acheson]