Throughout our lifetime we meet hundreds of different people. Every friend we make, no matter how brief that friendship is, will arrive in our life for a reason, season, or lifetime.
At first, appears to be one of those awkward train journeys...
Jenny (Caitlin Lavagna) bursts into Jean's (Sarah Rickman) life when she boards the train at Newcastle, shattering the silence. After a disastrous weekend at her friend’s hen-do, Jenny desperately wants to verbally offload the events that have taken place, and an incident with the stripper that caused a rift between her and her friends. Jean is resistant to talking to her at first and wants to be alone in her thoughts. However, as Jenny talks at her for a while the conversations start to become less one sided, and we slowly learn that these two strangers share a similar experience at the hands of abusive partners.
Why do we sometimes open a part our lives to a stranger? Could it be down to the fact that for a moment in time you are talking to someone who does not come to the situation with any prior knowledge of the past or emotional investment in your life. Allowing the other to off load safely in the knowledge that whatever they say is likely to remain within the confines of their conversation.
Apart from the odd train announcement there are no visual indications that the pair are on a train. The performance relies on the audience suspending their disbelief and focusing on the conversation and body language rather than the visual setting. This is successfully achieved in my opinion by Ben Worth's humorous, caring, and thought-provoking script. His understanding of the psychology into how abuse works and manifests the doubts into the victim’s psyche which allows the abuser ultimate control until one day something snaps.
Director Lotte Johnson has done a commendable job creating a situation performance using the zoom platform. From positioning Jenny and Jean in front of their cameras to appear like they are facing each other on the train to ensuring they had similar coloured backgrounds. It's this attention to details in the continuity that add to the enjoyment of watching performances on screen.
Sadly, this production has a short run. It is worth trying to catch it before it ends.