Bottled Up is a hard-hitting drama, centred around the horrific impact of our collective consumption of plastic on the environment. In front of a very striking set, we are introduced to new mum Jeanie, who is a bit of a plastic hoarder. Today, however, she is just relieved that her baby Sophie has slept peacefully through the night.
Colleen Cameron is the writer of the piece as well as its star, taking the role of Jeanie. Accordingly, there’s a clear synchronicity between the intent of the show and the protagonist pulling it off. Cameron holds the audience’s attention in totality, and through her chatty demeanour she creates an intimate atmosphere – a very special part of watching a solo show.
This is not an in-your-face political show. The focus is the environment, but that narrative is woven cleverly around the travesty that is Jeanie’s present. Her father has never thought much of her, her Mum has shut the door on her unplanned pregnancy, and her ex isn’t up for raising a child with her. Left to her own devices to cope, Jeanie does what she can to control as many aspects of her life as she can – sadly failing, as we see the show reveal.
The running time is 50 minutes, which means it goes very quickly from climax to finish – and that terse, quick set-up works brilliantly in inducing a significant shock. The ending leaves some loose threads unresolved though, and some metaphors demanded a bit more drawing out.
I’m left sceptical that the impact the author hopes for will manifest, as her self-selecting audience are those already aware of the environmental crisis we are living through. But that, of course, does not take anything away from the script itself; for a debut writer, this is very commendable work, prompting thought and introspection.
Presented in a very central and easy-to-get-to venue, this show is worth a watch. The rather early start will be well worth it, but remember to take your morning coffee in a reusable mug!