This piece starts as soon as you enter the theatre by one of the actors walking along the lines mapped out on the stage. The movement is in the style of a clockwork doll. The play has been based upon a poem by the Poet Oakley Flannagan.
The couple Oli and Leah who feature throughout the performance have inherited an old house from Oli’s relative which is now in desperate need of renovation. Which means only one thing, it’s the perfect time to get a dog.
The house happens to have at least one demon living within its walls. From what I can decipher the spirit living within the house could easily have been the devil as the character was dressed predominantly in red.
The spirit appears to struggle with the concept that the couple living within the house now who identify themselves as part of the LGBTQIA community and have turned their back on the “normal ” couple specific roles and have chosen to be equal. Although as time goes on the roles start to become gender-specific much to their disgust we especially Oli, which result in arguments. Which poses an interesting question of “how do we break the social constraints in the modern world?” You must decide that for yourselves.
As the Builder starts to knock down the walls while renovating the house it appears as a juxtaposition against the frustrations of the couple as they are trying to be themselves rather than fitting into a social opinion about what is deemed as being “normal”. I must stress that this is only my interpretation.
This piece is still a work in progress, there are some of the themes which run throughout the performance that will really benefit from being tightened up and made clearer. This will allow the audience to follow the story easier and understand where the company are trying to lead you.
The Opia Collective is a group of female and LGBTQIA artists. The cast of three in this production Liv Ello, Humaira Iqbal and Lucia Young are very strong performers who certainly work well together. Each of the three actors had an extremely strong presence on the stage.
When I studied Queer Theory back in early 2004 the overall message that always stuck out to me was the fact that nothing is indeed normal. For something to be deemed as normal by the masses, you realised that in another person’s opinion they feel that it is a queer way of living to them. A rather confusing outlook at first which actually makes perfect sense once you start to look deeper into the concept.
Overall the Opia Collective has some very interesting ideas and by this piece alone you can see that they are not afraid to challenge their audiences. I will be very interested to see what they do in future productions.
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