based on the story by Helen East.
Unicorn Theatre (Clore auditorium) 147 Tooley Street SE1 2HZ In rep to 17 November 2013.
10.30am 18-20, 24-27 Sept, 18, 22, 23, 25 Oct, 8, Nov.
11am 19, 20, 26, 27, 29, 30 Oct, 9, 10, 16, 17 Nov.
1.30pm 8 Nov.
2pm 29, 30 Oct,
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7645 0560.
Review: Timothy Ramsden.
A pleasant, physically-based show.
It is not, they say, over till the fat lady sings (one fat opera-singing lady once said that when she lost weight her voice grew worse, so she couldn’t risk slimming).
In this piece, based on Helen East’s Dora the Storer, there’s no fat lady. Hannah Boyde’s Dora is lithe and slim. But her bed spreads out wide with its several heaps of items, through which her arms rise as she awakes.
Above and around is so much stuff she can’t even see to pour herself the nice cup of tea she likes in the morning, so she has clearly become expert in pouring it ‘blind’ into her mug while all but her arms are under the welter of weight.
Often accompanied by easy-listening music from the radio, Dora begins examining the physical detritus she has accumulated through her life, and when the parts of her collection hanging from the ceiling come crashing to the floor she resolves to throw some of it out. A few bits are easy, but others resonate with the past. Literally, as sounds associated with their past are softly heard when she examines them.
There’s a lot of visual humour as Dora emerges and sets about her possessions. Some of it comes from her physical positions – legs sprawling in the air as she stretches over the bed to reach something. The 4+ audience loved that.
When she carts everything off to a jumble sale, the show gives a new angle to the old term ‘acting stage manager’, though the energy level goes down. For all Boyde can do to make the removal of her room’s contents a lively matter, it suggests watching somebody clear a room runs watching paint dry quite a close second.
Regrets soon come and Dora wraps herself up to be first in line when the local jumble sale opens. Then, surprise, we’re invited too. Whether this is to encourage the hoarder in young people, or present the idea of recycling old things, a treasure-trove of others’ throw-outs is available on shelves lining the corridor by which we leave this pleasant experience.
Dora: Hannah Boyde.
Director: Purni Morell.
Designer: Verity Quinn.
Lighting: Phil Clarke.