LAURA PATERSON neither loves nor hates this piece of student writing from New Zealand.
Corpus Playrooms, June 10th – 14th, 9.30 PM, £6/5.
Bedtime Monsters gives snapshots in the parallel lives of two sisters and two relationships across two countries. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measures.
The play- a piece of student writing by Henrietta Bollinger from Victoria University of Wellington – portrays the ups and downs of a relationship between two sisters, Adeline and Greer, from New Zealand. The plot is nothing revolutionary, showing scenes of everyday life, but it manages to do the ordinary really well. Past and present are interwoven, showing characteristic and climatic moments from the pair’s childhood and adult life.
Occasionally it leans towards cliché and it seems far-fetched when the male counterparts of the two sisters happen to meet each other as strangers, since the two couples supposedly live far away from each other. Yet this scene brought a tear to my eye, so maybe it was worth it. Bedtime Monsters captures the extremes of anger and love that are inherent to sisterly dynamics and at times I felt like a fly on the wall in my own house watching my sister and myself.
The play relies on top-class acting to bring potentially mundane scenes to life and luckily this was delivered. All the actors rendered characters that were believable and easy to empathise with. In the past scenes Sasha Brooks (playing Adeline) and Lily Lindon (Greer) had to play the child versions of their characters. These seemed realistic (though after a term of seeing exclusively students and tourists I’m not sure I can remember what children are like).
The constant jumping around in time and place managed not to be confusing, further testament to this acting quality, which quickly captured our attention and took us through a spectrum of emotions. The smooth transitions orchestrated by the production team further complemented the fluidity of the piece.
The actors gave a pretty good go at the kiwi accents. Normally I find myself rooting for the actors on-stage to pull off a smooth show, but there’s something about put-on accents that calls for the opposite approach. I always find myself listening out for a slip-up or a word with an English ring to it to mentally fault. Still, it wasn’t distracting enough to be detrimental to their performances.
Bedtime Monsters didn’t blow me away or particularly surprise me, but I came away with my heart warmed and a tear in my eye. It’s quite a girlie, emotional play, but I love relationships, babies and a good old tearjerker, so I enjoyed it. I don’t know if it would be for everyone though. Any fans of The Notebook, though, should get their tickets now!