If you ever crave the feeling that all the weight has been taken off your shoulders, this show and its desire to unburden you is worth a shot. An intimate experience exploring the physical and metaphorical meeting and interaction between two or three people,
this piece does an astounding yet simplistic job of calming nerves and refreshing the audience before letting them go about their lives
Led by one performer (Joanna Bucknall) the show is split into three 20 minute parts, which can be experienced on individual afternoons or all in one evening. Bucknall welcomes the audience and initiates a level of contact uncommonly used by performers, whilst avoiding any awkwardness and keeping you comfortable, which is soothing in itself.
Time flies by without a dull moment as you take your seat, make your introductions and proceed to put on noise cancelling headphones that help guide you through your session. Basic instructions are received through the headphones from a tape narrated mostly by Bucknall, which is clearly spoken and easy enough to follow, allowing occasional pauses for reflection.
There is a slight risk that certain instructions or explanations may be misunderstood, as the piece relies heavily on participation and attentiveness from both the audience and performer. This could maybe have been reduced by a brief at the beginning, reminding listeners not to overthink the main instructions, as not knowing what to expect can lead to nerves, which would make the show less enjoyable.
Creating a similar effect to the practice of Mindfulness, this piece does an astounding yet simplistic job of calming nerves and refreshing the audience before letting them go about their lives, feeling lighter and considerably happier for having taken time from their day to sit down and take part in a story. Whilst unlikely to have the same effect on all audiences, and potentially unnerving for those less comfortable being open with new people, those who put their all into The Story of You & I will come out of it with rewarding results.