“I see I’m starting to get old now”
If I had star ratings, RedBellyBlack would gain an extra one automatically for featuring the theme tune to 80s kids TV programme Round The Twist in their show A Year From Now. I would then probably take it away again because they’re all too young to have watched it when it was on and I’m bitter like that. Fortunately, A Year From Now has much more to it than the cultural appropriation of my childhood so we’re good.
Playing at the VAULT Festival after a run at the Tristan Bates last year, the show is built on a set of responses to the provocation ‘where do you see yourself a year from now?’. Using the techniques of verbatim theatre, a company of 5 interpret the answers to that question from 14 different people from all walks of life, with a multidisciplinary approach. With a keen eye for the visual, Vicki Baron’s direction mixes in movement with the miming, laughter with the lip-syncing, constantly keeping us on our toes.
So Oscar Scott-White slinks his way through the teenage confidences of a 15 year old girl, whether the importance of the right eyebrow shape or the frustrations of having to sit her time between divorced parents. And Christopher Montague and Jessica Warshaw share the narrative of a comedian who is dealing most pragmatically with the death of his mother. It’s an intelligent way of pointing up much of the universality of what is being said and felt by people just like us, whilst simultaneously acknowledging the specificity of the experiences by retaining their actual voices.
And as we flick from the gnomically wise utterances of a four year old (Kate Goodfellow having a whale of a time) to the poignant but positive story of a mother to be with a brain tumour, graceful choreography provides a fluidity to the action. From a ripple of laughter echoing throughout the company to conversational tics transformed into eloquent dance (the alertness every time the old ‘uns said hope for example), A Year From Now is a cleverly theatrical show indeed.