Have I told you how much I love the Royal Court?..okay my last post was a slight squirting of the Royal theatre blood, but Hang sums up my f*%#!?!€*^ love for the Royal Court.
Before I roll out my thought dough, I want to sprinkle some blogging loving flour. A quick shout out to the wonderful Rebekah (from Rebekah’s Reviews), who gave me a voice within her dissertation (bit risky, huh?). She also accompanied me to witness this Hang performance.
Greeted with a totally trashed meeting room and just three “unknown” characters on the stage, I knew this was going to be a whole lot darker than an episode of The Bill/Office (ask your mums and dads, kids!). It was clear that a vulnerable woman/wife/mother barely stood about to finalise a controversial decision for a “who knows” crime. Slowly revealing her inner and outer trauma, my imagination tried to fill in the blanks, but I was disgusted with the emotional blockage. Perhaps ‘disgusted’ and ‘blockage’ aren’t the right words to use, but this is exactly what I’m getting at. This play will rob your sanity, coil around your voicebox, squeeze the joyous theatre love rat out of you and leave you staring at your keyboard with nothing but swear words. I’ve had a whole week to literally gather my words in hope to synchronise Hang into a sensible blog post.
Hang was literally a verbal execution of all the words you once knew, loved and lost. A play which could be mistaken for a lack of rehearsal, babbling nonsense or strained awkwardness. Having the urge to shout “AWKWARD” (very much like Dick and Dom shouting “BOGIES” in public), I cringed and sank into leathered depths of my car seat. The only thing which kept me from losing myself was hoisting my left leg over the right and toying with my ankle – a gentle reminder that I was in control of my body.
I guess you could say I was insanely moved. Marianne Jean-Baptiste owning the stage as if it was her street. Her spoken word crippled and stained my dyslexic brain. I was totally in awe as if she was God onstage and we, her disciples, were told to go “fuck protocol” and spread that very word. My heart lassoed her shaking body, but she cussed me down with her “final decision” to take a man’s life. No great mystery to know the outcome of her decision (clue is in the title), but your torch lights up this grieving mother’s soul, begging for happiness, forgiveness and salvation. debbie tucker green, I salute you!
Claire Rushbrook and Shane Zaza were bloody awesome. Their perfect parrot comedy effect- repeating, supporting, reminding and digging mighty holes for each other – made me chuckle at the reality of (lack of) communication during tense times. It was the formal setting versus the need for informality. Zaza’s character described the various horrific methods of execution in hope to satisfy revenge or justice (whatever way you want to look at it). I must admit my mind zoned out for a brief second and silenced with the parallels of our worldly realities, such as recent beheadings, hangings, crucifixion etc.
Theatre can be that “unsettling” boisterous nurse drawing blood out of your arm, but keeps missing that single crucial vein. With major blows to the arm, you must suffer to know the end result. Are you healthy or ready to take on death?…How does this relate to Hang?…I have no idea, but the script was breathtakingly beautiful so much so I bought a copy and underlined my favourite lines (the student never leaves me!) I would also like to point out that the script has a slightly different ending so spend your £3 wisely (ditch the Starbucks or Costa etc) and invest in words. For an inspiring concluding statement, I’m just going to leave you hanging…
To hang out at the Royal Court and see Hang (before it closes on 18th July 2015) here