Review of May 9 performance, by Elise Lawrence
Underground Productions will perform In Bloom at Mappins Nursery and Aquarium, West End on May 9-12 and 21-24. Read more and book tickets on the event page.
Tales of lost love, treasured memories, and poetic musings on the world we live in, set among cool greenery and the sound of running water.
In Bloom is a series of monologues and spoken word poems about art, sex, and nature, created from anonymous submissions and performed by five women among the trailing green leaves and vibrant, graffiti-style artwork of Mappins Nursery and Aquarium in West End.
The Director’s Note in the program stated that the show was inspired by the space it is performed in, and the feeling of plants brushing against you as you moved through the warehouse-like space, following the stories, seemed fitting for the sensuality and naturality explored in the performance.
Audience members were guided gently around the large venue by the voices and footsteps of the cast, who did a great job of projecting their voices, particularly in instances when they had to compete with the noisy traffic of Montague Road.
The monologues covered a wide range of topics – environmentalism, childhood memories, nature as inspiration, awkward sex, lost love – and each performer brought something uniquely dynamic to her work, from gestures to physical comedy to focused eye contact with the small audience.
In Bloom also made use of the diverse spaces within the venue. The cast sat chummily with the audience on sofas, spoke softly in the dark, leafy nursery, and held the audience’s attention in the bright, white light of the art gallery. The venue capacity of twelve audience members made the performance even more intimate.
Please note: this show is rated 15+.