Dir. Mark Thomson, Tron Theatre, 2 – 4 June 2016
As soon as I sat down in the Tron Theatre, a lovely lady sitting next to me started chatting to me about the amazing look of the stage. Between the solidity and permanence of an enormous backdrop covered in a 3D patchwork of everyday London objects, and the more fragmented, fleeting effect of moving pieces of furniture, the perfect environment was created to present the story of Sarah, Freya and Jasmin. Three sisters who struggle in the midst of shards of their everyday life, never having anywhere to truly belong.
Particularly powerful was the depiction of choice and the failure to listen. I was amazed by the versatility and skill of such young actors, who genuinely made me feel everything on the spectrum from pure loathing to carefree glee. All characters were beautifully portrayed, as well as their attempts at finding their own, independent voice. In such instances was the use of projection extremely judicious: by creating slightly too many focal points onstage, it united character and onlooker in their inability to process all of life’s solicitations.
Not only was it an amazing portrayal of human relationships, but Earthquakes in London also transcended the individual. Central to the play is the environment and the certainty that climate change will be the end of mankind. Every decision, every impulse, seems to be dictated by the knowledge of humanity’s impending doom; and the scientific elements permeating the script paint a very pessimistic, fairly frightening picture of the future.
I left humming upbeat pop songs and discussing ideas of family, fatherhood, sisterhood, communication, regret and love. In the back of my head, however, there remained the knowledge that I took a plane two weeks ago, and my shower that morning had lasted longer than needed. Small things, but I was made more aware. Aware also, that this was without a doubt the best production I have seen this year.