All Might Seem Good

Drawing from the likes of renowned theatre company DV8, All Might Seem Good mixes verbatim accounts of fate with physical theatre: mixing the highly natural with the highly stylised. It’s a brilliant way to tell a story, and Bear Pit Theatre are imaginative in their use of movement to complement a script.

A masterclass in physical theatre; seamlessly moving between individual intimate moments and ensemble movement.

The verbatim accounts are woven around a central narrative: two old friends (hinting at ex-lovers) meet on a bench. The same bench they both eat their lunch on every day. The same bench where, every day, they narrowly miss one another: until now. In a slightly over-hashed manner, they begin to discuss fate. Harry Harlow is a fantasist and Mimi Pattinson a realist, and their subsequent discussion of luck forms the basis of the show.

Both Harlow and Pattinson do an excellent job of holding the pieces together. However, their central narrative isn’t as compelling as the stories themselves. Harlow and Pattinson seem to act as experts on the subject of fate, and their story is only occasionally injected with a level of intimacy, drifting unconvincingly between philosophy and ambiguous comments – “Is that why you left?”

Despite this slightly sloppy framework, the verbatim accounts are performed wonderfully, making up the true substance of the show. The eleven-strong ensemble are competent across the board, taking on a variety of characters deftly. The stories are a mix of short and sweet anecdotes and extraordinary occurrences. Accounts include an utterly bizarre story about a kangaroo, the fall of the Berlin wall, 7/11 (the shop), and a funny nutshell tale about a biscuit. The stories are all wonderfully balanced, threading alongside one another to develop a sense of the human reaction to coincidence, luck or near misses.

Set is comprised of four simple stools that are manipulated cleverly throughout the show. Director Jeremy Piper enhances the speech beautifully with tight ensemble work, and uses the space well. In some ways, All Might Seem Good is a masterclass in physical theatre; seamlessly moving between individual intimate moments and ensemble movement. At moments, it diverges into what can be recognised as well-worn drama games and exercises. However, it’s a creatively put together show with a lot of talent and potential.

Reviews by Ellie Coote

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★★★
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★★
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All Might Seem Good

★★★
Paradise in The Vault

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★★★★
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★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Veronica and William eat lunch on the same bench in the same park every day. But never at the same time. Until today. This is a play about luck. Or coincidence. Or fate. Or God. Or just things that happen. It’s not simple. Everyone has a story of outrageous fortune to share, and armed with a rabble of these verbatim accounts, Bear Pit weave tales of farcical mishap and heartbreaking happenstance, as two lunchtime adversaries try to sort the banal from the miraculous and make sense of the web of chance which defines our lives.

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