Arthur Cottrell Theatre
Rosemary Branch Theatre
One woman show
Runtime ~ 1hr30mins
[Originally performed at Arthur Cottrell Theatre. Entered and accepted in to Kingston's International Youth Arts Festival.]
The concept of this piece was thought up by Elle Wood; the actress who originated the roles of Lori and Gwen.
Anyone wishing to perform this piece will need permission from both Elle and myself. Don't fret, we're very reasonable.
A Two-Act, One-Woman introspective piece. Each act runs through a parallel timeline.
Lori and Gwen are neighbours in the soon-to-be-demolished Carpenter's Estate.
They have lived here during the renovation of Stratford for the Olympic Games. Tonight is the night the games start and whilst the rest of the world will be focusing on the event, Lori and Gwen are home and incredibly alone.
Lori finds herself compensating for her loneliness by speaking aloud to the memory of her husband, who died twenty years previously. It is his birthday today and Lori finds herself reminiscing about their youth, their lives, their friends and ultimately, why she was left alone to live out the remainder of her life in such a cruel and unforgiving world.
Gwen on the other hand, finds herself unable to manage her bipolar mood swings which are exacerbated by her depression, lack of self-worth and suicidal tendencies. It's not all doom and gloom; she's lived with these for a long time since she ran away from home at a young age. She would usually half welcome them as old friends, but, having recently discovered she is pregnant - to a child she does not believe would love her - and her boyfriend Peter cheated on her... the mental health is starting to push her toward the ultimatum she has avoided for so long.
The two bare a striking contrast to the merriment just minutes away in the Olympic Stadium. They are suffering with loneliness and both unable to admit to themselves that all they need is a little company; the end of the play could lead to a wonderful symbiotic relationship between the two... or perhaps not.
They are just small faces close to being swallowed by a larger crowd who would sooner forget them.
This play thus far has been incredibly well received. There is a constant theme of musing on the meaning of life, with a trickling of humour and sadness running throughout.
For its first performance, the audience were laughing one second and crying the next. Though it deals with many depressing issues, it does so in a subtle way giving the audience the freedom to lose themselves in the lives of both characters rather than being forced to focus solely on the circumstances inducing the emotions.
Lori - A sixty+ woman who has resigned to a life of no family, no friends and no lover. Her only anchor to happiness is the cross around her neck that she uses as a physical link to her dead husband, Fletch. She's a sweet and gentle lady; wise enough to be world weary, but blind enough to not see she needs more than just memories.
Gwen - A twenty+ woman who ran away from abusive parents at a young age. She moved to London alone, fell in to a relationship and has since stagnated. Though she is intelligent, she just cannot help but feel she is worthless and not ready to be a mother. Her mental health issues are taking precedence over her disposition during her section; but they must be played with depth and accuracy, not a monotonous 'self-pity' approach.