I love Lowri. She’s charming, engaging and reflective in equal measure. Unfortunately, as hard as I tried to love this play, I could never fully connect with it. It was a show that strived for meaning, but ultimately lacked substance.
Billed as part-performance, part-installation, this ‘live scrap book’ is an exploration of how to find meaning in life, living in the moment, and… something to do with a long-distance relationship in Brazil. Using the likes of overhead projectors, (occasionally brilliant) music, sunglasses, ladders and balloons, Lowri evokes her memories and thoughts, welcoming you into her world by writing down everyone’s name as they enter. There’s an abundance of ideas here, which try to link but always just miss, leaving each snapshot slightly irrelevant. The problem with creating a ‘scrap book’ of this kind is that the individual ‘scraps’ weren’t interesting enough and the overall ‘book’ seems to have been carelessly bound together with no cohesive thought.
There are some occasional pleasant moments. Lowri’s TK Maxx trip, where she tries on outfits depicting imaginings of her future self, is funny and occasionally poignant, with a moment to reflect on celebrity culture and the idea of a ‘perfect life’. This is Lowri at her best – conversationally, upfront and humorous.
Other moments just seem to try too hard to be meaningful, and as a performer, Lowri’s slightly monotone voice lacks the range to pull off these scenes. The attempted poetic phrases lack conviction and end up annoying rather than beautiful. The installation elements are disappointing too, with the exclusion of the fun projected doodles, they seem uninspired at best: a slow drawing of pots and pans, writing in a window where you couldn’t quite make out what was written, and some bizarre hanging pots full of glittery water.
There are ideas here that I’m interested in, where we are shown glimpses of insight, and maybe each one of these ideas could have been crafted into their own, better scrap book rather than being lumped amongst the other ideas. For a show about making the most of your life, it seems odd that this ends up feeling like a waste of time.