A young man, lonely and slightly eccentric, lives in a dingy block of council flats. Every day he sees a dog being abused downstairs on the street by one of his neighbours. Every day, he worries that the nurse upstairs has fallen down and hurt herself or that she has died. Sometimes, he writes letters to the council or the railways complaining about something or another. Occasionally, someone knocks on the door. Oh, and there are a lot of microwaves.
Written by Florence Read, the narrative is a stream-of-consciousness story told by the young man, explaining his life and the things that have happened to him. There are elements of humour, in the form of zany visitors and musings like “What is life without a cohesive aesthetic?” Some aspects of the script work well, as when the protagonist witnessing the abuse of the animal and has no real reaction; that apathy is poignant. And the set is very attractive, made up of old microwaves filled with lights, and cleverly using a simple blind to signify a window.
However, the set-up of the play takes far too long. The first half of the show is quite rambling and confusing – and although it picks up in the second half and finishes strongly, the actor is definitely working with an unwieldy script. I would also have appreciated more clues about the protagonist’s background – if they were there, I missed them. There wasn’t enough material to explain why he was the way he was, feeling-less and numb to the world and his surroundings.
Even so, there are glimpses of good acting. A scene with a Bible man is particularly funny and like I said, the end is very dramatic. And although it isn’t to my personal taste, there are certainly some who will appreciate the feeling of uncertainty this production leaves you with.