Student Theatre at Glasgow, Webster Theatre, 17th Feb 2016
The second night of STAG’s New Works in the wonderful Webster Theatre is all about love. Funny, cute, heart-warming, painful, dramatic, intense love. The night consists of two plays, a short twenty-minute one and a longer fifty-minute piece, both written and directed by members of STAG.
The evening opens with ‘Eggcup’ by Kirsty McAdam, a devised physical theatre piece that made the audience say ‘awwww’ frequently. The chemistry between the actors is beautiful to watch, both between the young couple the story revolves around and between the four-headed ensemble who swiftly move pieces of the set on and off stage, turn themselves into doors and mirrors and play around with props. A box of popcorn or the front of a rollercoaster cart signify the first awkward dates; a blanket shields our eyes when things get hot; a long black coat and an umbrella are enough to tell us of loss. ‘Eggcup’ shows that physical theatre doesn’t only suit humorous stories but is also capable of depicting grief, feeling so listless you need to be dragged off the couch again and again and again. An exciting, original piece that was brought to an even higher level by the brilliant music choices.
The character of Emily, fantastically portrayed by Martha Haskins, warns us at the start of the second play that she will be talking to us, the audience. Not a type of theatre she liked, but she felt like ‘there was no other way to tell the story.’ And she’s right. ‘Emily & John’ (written and directed by Albert Ohlin) superbly intertwines the characters talking to us and reliving significant moments of their relationship together. The intimacy between Emily and John (Tom Rouvray) stretches out towards the audience, inviting us to be part of their turbulent story. An emotional piece exploring universal topics in it’s own, affecting way. I leave Webster Theatre feeling heavy, still humming Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer.’