Reviewed by Georgina Sivier
Taking my seat in the sold out Refinery Art Gallery I was excited to see some improvisation that isn’t just about the laughs. As Impulse theatre’s definition of their show Strangers states: ‘What happens when two strangers meet? Do they pass like ships in the night, have a brief moment of connection, or form a lifelong friendship? Do they fall in love, or become mortal enemies?’
The start of the show is fantastically engaging, the players enter the stage and get on a bus, as we watch these strangers, completely disconnected, on public transport, excitement builds. Each performer’s character is inspired by a card that they draw out of a bucket on stage and the audience is privy to an introductory monologue that helps ground the characters we are about to see.
‘I need to vent.’
‘I want sex.’
‘I’m a friend of Sam’s.’
‘I love animals.’
‘I create art.’
‘I want to make a difference.’
The players build an entire story based on these six statements which impresses the audience to no end. I did however find myself wishing that these provocations were taken a bit further, as I found that some players seemed to forget their’s as time went on.
Connections were found and relationships formed. I took immense pleasure in watching friendships blossoming, romances developing and even some frictions beginning. The performers did a great job managing the story that was being created but I did find that the pacing needed to be varied. Lots of scenes began with some moments of silence as the scene was set, and often the rhythm of the scenes were not differing which at some times made it hard to stay engaged.
It is clear to see that these performers work regularly with each other, they expertly navigated each other characters and created relationships that I wanted to know about.
If Strangers comes to your town, I urge you to see it.