Review: She Arrives

3 star rating
Taps into important and potentially comedic issues, but feels too brief as it stands even with an engaging and energetic performance at its heart, and embryonic originality.
She Arrives at The Bread & Roses Theatre

Image: Penny Drops Collective



Closes here: Monday 17 September 2018

Author:
Elliot C. Mason, poet and artist, Sadia Gordon, actress and writer.

Director:
Elliot C. Mason

Cast:

Sadia Gordon

Synopsis


A punchy-one woman comedy that oozes jumpy lemon juice, 'She Arrives' is about the millennial generation, about the impossibility of our futures, mounted by debt and thrown into the darkness of the work ideology - we are the subjects of the most extreme religion ever known, Neoliberal Capitalism, and yet we are not allowed close to the divinities - Money, Property and Privacy.


This one woman is sick of it.


So she decides to get revenge.


However, she isn't the only one looking for a fight …


ActDrop reviews


Peter Brown

Performance date: Monday 17 September 2018
Review star rating image for 3 stars

When you've finally reached the end of your university course, having amassed a huge debt during your studies, what do you do next?


For most people, it's the long, sometimes endless search for the job of their dreams - perhaps the justification for taking a degree course in the first place.


But the jobs market is not what it used to be (if it ever was what we think it used to be).


Moreover, it seems an almost impossible task to achieve even basic things that previous generations might have readily acquired - a place of one's own, a car, getting some money in the bank to name a few.


So it's hardly a surprise that rebellion against the usual job-seeking process and refusal to take one's place in a broken system, finds accord in particular quarters of the post-uni population.


Such is the case with the young woman we meet in this play.


Unless I missed it, we don't even learn her name, meaning that we could be watching and learning about Ms Anyone or, by extension, Ms Everyone.


The rather frantic start is bookended with the denouement which leaves the central issues hanging rather inconclusively in mid air.


In between, we find a woman exasperated by the system even before she's really got to grips with it.


Eschewing all the options the world of work has to offer, she ventures out to obtain revenge on one particular person who has what she would like - money, status, privacy and a comfortable house.


Written by Elliot C. Mason and Sadia Gordon, the play actually taps into something important that offers comedic potential too.


She Arrives, though, is a very short play - on its own, it feels rather too short - but it might find a suitable home in a themed double-bill.


Alternatively, the writing team could find more to say and make it into something more satisfyingly substantial.


As it is, it feels almost too short to warrant a trek to the theatre.


And the antics of the protagonist - even given an engaging and energetic performance by Sadia Gordon - leave us in some doubt about what we're really meant to glean from the play.


On the one hand, you could read it as the childish antics of someone who targets the wrong quarry, since it's not actually the fault of an individual when the system itself is dysfunctional.


Looked at in another way, though, the play may be suggesting that frustration causes people to target those most closely at hand - those we see and recognise every day.


Moreover, the woman's activities are absurdly ineffectual - deliberately so, I think - almost like slashing out wildly in simple frustration rather than being a planned campaign designed to be a successful stab at economic revolution.


There are many moments of humour and the sometimes poetic writing is intriguing.


And the play as a whole has embryonic originality, but appears in need of further adjustments to allow the concept to be fully realised to maximum effect.



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