Jo is unwell. She’s been spending a lot of time in the bath lately. People are treating her strangely. We’re about to find out why.
Human is well paced and well constructed, allowing the tension to build and our fears to form as it slowly reveals Jo’s story.
A finely wrought script, by Colette Kane and Helen Rutter and performed by the latter, dissects a suburban tragedy. Rutter’s performance in this monologue is intimate, often directed to the audience, or to her dog. She steps into other characters from time to time, including beautician Emma Clare, her fiancé Joe, or her mother. There are times of real charm and humour; she carries the piece with convincing emotional truth.
I was pleased Rutter referred to the ‘neighbours’ (our real-life venue neighbours) as “Spice Girls fans who like to have parties.” The sound leak in the venue is considerable, but this acknowledgement allows us to ignore the sounds of music and whooping and focus in on the story.
Jo was supposed to marry her long-time partner and the father of her two kids, Joe. He proposed with a Haribo jelly ring and she said yes. But as preparations for the wedding were underway, something happened.
Since then, Jo keeps wearing the wedding dress. After all, it is a nice dress. Although the reason for the costume is clear (a sweetheart halter in ivory satin incongruously paired with Converse and a chunky red canvas belt) I didn’t like it at first. I still don’t like the belt, actually. In evoking Miss Havisham, the costume does play with our expectations, however.
Human is well paced and well constructed, allowing the tension to build and our fears to form as it slowly reveals Jo’s story. The result is a well realised, powerful solo theatre work.