REVIEW: One other Universe (Basement Theatre)

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[Full of Possibilities] 

A part of the irresistible pull of the stage is the chance to slide into the pores and skin of one other, to think about and inhabit one other world earlier than being launched again into your individual life. Nadia Freeman aka Miss Main’s One other Universe self-consciously employs the stage as an area through which to discover among the myriad of doable lives one individual may comprise. 

Freeman weaves a collection of spoken phrase poems right into a sprawling expression of misplaced needs and unanswered questions. 

The piece is, in massive, an entry into the creating canon of Covid /pandemic impressed self-reflection. Half of the stage is a flat disorganised by the method of packing to go away as soon as the journey restrictions are lifted, and the opposite half is a liminal house containing a white drop on which to challenge photographs in addition to a crate labelled “prospects” on one facet and “regrets” on the opposite. The 2 areas are divided by a dangling empty door body, an immediately evocative alternative although one which might have been made extra of. 

At simply 45 minutes in size the present is brimming with subjects. Freeman affords questions of id, and an exploration of the which means of residence in a world world or within the lifetime of a traveller. She additionally presents a treatise on battle and the battle between construction and freedom, whereas on the coronary heart of the piece is an aching dialogue of sexuality and womanhood, the burden of expectations, and the anxious needs. Many viewers members will discover their very own considerations are mirrored within the shifting melodies of the poetry and the resounding however upspoken “what if” of the challenge. 

There’s rigidity at factors between what works poetically and what a staged narrative requires. Matters shift swiftly from rippling and opaque photographs of isolation or repression to heightened prose discussions of the Marvel movies. There are missed alternatives for echoes and repetitions and a few items are so rhythmically distinct to others that stronger design decisions are wanted to hold the viewers by the change. A extra in depth and constant use of sound and projection might assist mix the ‘universes’ collectively by making extra of the transitions between the 2 stage areas and demarcating the completely different lives depicted. As Freeman aka Miss Main has a physique of unique digital music it’s shocking that music shouldn’t be utilised in a extra centered method, or that a lot of the music used within the present didn’t seem like Miss Main’s personal. 

Freeman is an arresting performer, deeply likeable and really able to slipping mercurially from one temper to a different. Her poetry is private however in its specificity and a focus to the small print of those diversified doable lives it reaches for the common, an achievement evidenced by the viewers’s audible recognition of shared truths. 

One other Universe is a journey by many lives mirrored within the eyes and phrases of 1 performer however in the end it’s a philosophical exploration of prospects and regrets, providing a combination of contemplation, anger, anxieties, and contentment. 

One other Universe performs Basement Theatre the 25th to the 29th of  Oct, 2022.  

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