Tuesday, 16 May 2017

"An Ordinary World"
HE Festival, Clarendon College, Nottingham.
"An Ordinary World". What is an ordinary world. Mine is getting up in the morning, going to work, coming home and being with the wife and kids, when I'm not out at the theatre. That's orsinary to me. To others it may be something completely different.
This short 15 minute play shows us a world that one man believes to be ordinary. But his ordinary world is a world of domestic violence. A man being beaten and verbally abused by a woman? It does happen and, albeit in a light hearted way, it delivers the message that, yes, men can also the abused, as well as the more oft thought role as the abuser.
There are no names just "The Forgotten Victim" (Jak Truswell) and "The Overlooked Problem" (Libby Green). They start with the T Shirts with these titles. "The Forgotten Victim" is then stripped of his T Shirt and jogging bottoms to represent his vulnerability in this partnership where we see he is part of a mock up boxing match after being on the receiving end of a volley of abuse from "The Overlooked Problem". Needless to say he doesn't retaliate.
There's also a video clip of part of Jeremy Kyle Show where it features a young man who is locked in a third storey flat and escapes only by leaping out of the window, causing damage to himself. the audience in the TV studio laugh but Jezza makes the point that if this had been a woman, there wouldn't be laughter.
In an almost contemporary dance section we see "Overlooked" apologising and stating that it will never happen again and "Victim" at first going back with her. At the end though he turns his back on her, which is where, after he gives us some quite startling facts about male domestic abuse, the play ends.
This sort of play does show what can happen behind closed doors even though we like to think that it couldn't, could it? Not to a man? By a woman? Yes, it does.It's a hidden issue that we need to be made more aware of and plays like this one can only help.
Even when "Victim" tries to open up to his male friend, it ends up being turned around by the other male as "she likes it rough in the bedroom" type of lad's banter. There's no way "Victim" is going to open up to him was there?
The two co stars, Henry Bennett and Christopher Walters ably supported, in more ways than one, the two mains.
The music, from Green Day, was well chosen and operated, as well as the Jezza Kyle section by Joseph Spybey.
Stage managed by Amy Jackson assisted by Chris Mercer and directed by Paul C. Duffy. it is really refreshing to see new work by young artists and there's great scope for this play to be extended, in my opinion.
HE Festival is on at Clarendon College for this week and next week and it's all free.

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