Sweet Werks' studio is a well-suited venue for The Start of Something. It’s a very intimate space which worked well as the three characters relive a painful part of their lives. As Amy, Emma and Evelyn begin to tell their seemingly unrelated stories, you get the notion there’s a much bigger through line. With each continuation of their stories, you’re anticipating the collision of their narratives, which will come all in good time.
A heart-wrenching, funny production
Something great about this show was its stripped-back feel. The set was minimal, and the characters spoke to the audience like they were old friends. Through breaking the fourth wall, the delivery of the monologues felt, mostly, natural and conversational, which was important in allowing the stories to gradually unfold. There was no music until the end of the piece, which worked well as it would have detracted from the simplistic reveal of how the stories were interlinked.
Kate Isitt was incredible as Amy; she captured the raw emotion of her character’s loss. She was a natural performer: it was evident she had carefully rehearsed her character’s speech patterns. Isitt’s engagement with the audience was excellent as she included everyone in her recounts, again lending to the friendly, colloquial feel of the script. Kathleen Cranham’s comedic delivery as Emma was brilliant, outlining the ironic moment that she’d ‘found discounted entry to Peppa Pig World on the back of a packet of bacon’ – which of course got some well-deserved laughs.
The lack of interaction between characters was odd. Whilst one character performed her monologue, the other two sat and read along, leafing through their scripts. Of course, it’s likely that there was only a short rehearsal period before the Fringe, however the reading along didn’t add anything to the performance. If the character speaking said something funny, the other two might laugh, but it was unclear whether this was corpsing or still in character. Additionally, the transition between some monologues was messy. After they’d finished their monologue, they’d bang a small gong to the left of the stage which the next character would mute before speaking. It felt as though the endings of some stories were rushed in order to continue through the piece: potentially resonant moments were stunted and abruptly ended.
As the piece ended, with it’s namesake song: Voxtrot’s The Start of Something playing in the background, there was a sense of catharsis for both the cast and the audience towards the resolution of the narratives’ collision. If you enjoy a good old chat and a bit of family drama, pop on down to Sweet Werks to watch The Start of Something; a heart-wrenching, funny production.