By Davey Pearson
Local Actor and Writer, Tim Fifield took to the stage last week to present to us his two latest offerings in the world of drama.
The Truth and The flats focus largely on how we have become disconnected from the world around us despite being more connected than ever before.
The Truth sees Toyah played by Lauren Morley,, tracking down the Dad she never met. After finding a Birthday card signed by ‘Dad’ she soon realises that the handwriting in the card doesn’t match that of the Dad she grew up knowing.
The ever reliable source of information, Facebook, leads her to track down her biological Father and soon a meet up is scheduled. Mark, played by Fifield, attempts to connect with his daughter but struggles to shake off the awkwardness such a situation presents, he explains as best he can that he had to put his Daughter up for adoption following the death of her Mother after suffering severe Postnatal depression. It is a tense roller coaster of emotion as both battle their insecurities but the tension is eased as Toyah references that her own Son is approaching his 2nd birthday.
We close as we began with Mark cleaning his flat, listening to his 80’s pop but this time preparing to greet his Daughter and her Son for a Birthday gathering ,2 candles and a cake at the ready.
The Flats focuses on eleven individuals living in the same tower block, all so preoccupied with life that they never have time for each other. Cleverly including the link between Lauren and Mark from the previous play, they take much more of a secondary role this time as the focus is on how fractured the environment is. If only they took time for each other, maybe those fractures could heal….
In an area where loneliness, spousal abuse, acrophobia and gang related peer pressure are rife, each character could benefit from engaging with the other. With a such a tense group the humour shines through courtesy of the lift engineer who injected a certain comic relief with his light hearted lines.
The story takes a turn when Billy played by James Macauley disappears, a largely unassuming character who’s absence goes unnoticed by the rest of the group. After a while the other residents begin to wonder if all is alright with their neighbour.
The finding of a key leads them to Billy’s flat where each character discovers a letter addressed to them. Each letter is read aloud and it soon becomes clear that Billy has been listening to and understanding everyone’s problems and worries. Through this they collectively appear to appreciate each other and we close with the whole group together, as a community, less the divide that was between them.
Two fantastically written and performed plays that leave you wanting more, they both touched on current and serious subject matters that certainly resonated with me personally, at times it was almost as if they had been written solely for my benefit.