Review written by Amayna Solaiman, Drama student:
The play People Places & Things, very beautifully presented the raw, horrifying reality of Emma, a drug addict and an alcoholic who struggles with her own sobriety and identity and, in a brave act of recovery, self admits to a rehabilitation centre to face her demons.
Initially, the actors were dressed in 19th century, period costume, the main character then got a nose-bleed, I sat up in my chair, confused, all I could think of was “What on earth did I just miss?”
And if things couldn’t get any more confusing, some unidentifiable sound started blaring as she ripped the upstage gauze screen to the floor, to reveal what I thought was a mirror of the audience, and what I assumed was the protagonist’s reflection. I was wrong. It wasn’t a reflection. It was in fact another audience, watching from the reverse perspective to me (traverse staging) and another woman. Modern club music started booming and the actress had ripped off her blonde wig, revealing her natural brunette hair. There was a costume and set change as we were transported from the 1900s to the present day.
The director just didn’t want to give the audience a second to settle down and catch their breath, but I guess that was the point of the play; life is full of moments and events that happen one after the other, never giving us time to take it all in.
To say that the play exceeded my expectations would be an understatement. The successful blend of dark humour and raw reality was a harsh, yet eye-opening insight to Emma’s ‘reality’. I laughed at moments which I shouldn’t have laughed at and cried when the main character was going through terrible things, despite her selfish demeanour. Speaking of her hard-to-love character, I speak for many when I say that it was easy for us to love Emma- and to feel for her- even if the other characters couldn’t stand her. It was easy to sympathise for her.
I was truly moved by the play; it made me question my own attitude and opinions to topical issues. People Places & Things written by Duncan MacMillan is worth the watch- it was intoxicating and breath-taking in many ways; it kept me on the edge of my seat and constantly reaching for my water (which, by the way, cost me a whole £2!)
I recommend this play to everyone. Truly worth the watch.