Hinge Presents: Ordinary Things

The Hill Street venue has a great find in their ‘Master’s Room’ space and Hinge Theatre has installed itself there to present Ordinary Things: a two-actor, four character play about two couples breaking up across time and context. Despite occurring in this unconventional space, Ordinary Things is a fairly traditional piece of theatre, with a confessional script and naturalistic style, solidly performed.

The most exciting thing about the show is the room itself. It is just a room in an older building, but its character is vivid and the production has wisely lit the space using only lamps creating a mysterious and beautiful glow. Many vintage mirrors line the room allowing simultaneous views of the performers’ faces from different angles. This lends a cinematic quality to the piece, tying-in with one of the show’s themes: there is always another perspective to consider. However, there are some technical misses, the most grievous of which is the video projection, periodically displayed on a black cloth plastered across one wall. This set-up is ugly and distracting, and the video content feels more like commercial breaks than plot enhancements, and detract from the hard-working, and more compelling, performers.

Playing two characters each, the show’s young actors are charming and committed. Their scene work is well-paced and they are both able to deliver a sometimes clichéd script (the film-maker character describes walking into her first camera class and “everything came into focus”) with sincerity and confidence. I preferred to watch their focused presence, than listen to sentimental folk mega-hits while watching a mediocre digital video montage.

Given the adventurous leaps theatre has made in the past few decades in site-specificity and audience interaction, what Hinge has done with this piece is fairly tame. (The room is being used as a ‘real’ room, but it’s filled with conspicuous set-dressing and a tech-board operator – it’s a theatre.) Still, there are good points and earnest performances and for a piece of straight theatre it’s worth the trip.

Since you’re here…

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The Blurb

A play about discovery, and the multiple meanings different contexts and generations place on the same items. In one Budapest apartment, two couples, 30 years apart, discover as much about themselves as each other.     

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