A new look at loneliness, detachment and isolation

REVIEW: Lucy and the Hawk – Switchback Productions, Alnwick Playhouse, Tuesday

Lucy and the Hawk is a two-person show and a dark but comical investigation into what it is to be isolated and lonely.

That is the interesting and unique thing about this play; it is not your standard plot, with a beginning, middle and an end. The play is open for interpretation, something which was difficult to do according to Phil, the director, when 35 students, including me, from the Duchess’s Community High School met him afterwards following a morning workshop provided by the theatre company.

It was a leap of faith to not round up the plot and send the audience away all feeling the same thing. Each audience member left the Playhouse taking away something different, a different meaning, a different insight into the world of Lucy and Elliot and how it applies to themselves and everyday life. It asks the audience questions, it makes you think.

The layout of the stage was interesting too. The director put a fascinating twist on the standard way of performing. Whenever the character of Lucy is on stage, the actor playing Elliot would speak her lines and vice versa. The costumes and the brilliant use of music, from all styles, gave the performance a little something extra. It meant that no one in the audience was left out, everyone was included in this examination of what being human is.

Similarly, whenever the characters reached out to touch something, they never actually pick up the object, even though it is there. Then, the actor who is not centre-stage would create the sound effect by using folly props. This was a clever detachment from the action going on, and created a tone of loneliness. It was so well rehearsed that not a single thing was out of time or missed. It was effortless.

This unique way of making sound effects was simply beautiful and made the performance watchable on a whole new level.

The thinking behind this, said Phil, is to show the audience how isolation can seep into your life and how disjointed your life can become.

I would like to say thank you to everyone in the Switchback company – the workshop was so useful and I really enjoyed it and, if you have not already, go to see the play that is more a piece of art then anything else. It is not often a play as affecting as this comes along.

Annie Davison,

Duchess’s High School, Alnwick