Review: VOiD, Pit (Vault Festival 2020)

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Martini Rating: 🍸🍸🍸🍸

In our opinion great theatre makes you think and makes you feel, Tutti Tutti ProductionsVOiD does just that.

Coming with a strong content warning, i.e ‘themes of rape, sexual abuse and knife crime’, VOiD is as expected an empowered and gut-wrenching drama, that keeps its audience on the edge of their seats, proving to be gripping, cognitive and raw.

Adroitly written and performed by Sophia Capasso, the piece is a playfully ominous story that challenges its audience to decipher between Ali’s reality and her imagination. On the surface, she is a feisty young women who has always felt invincible, but something has changed, she feels suffocated and exhausted with the world, (particularly the world glued to her finger tips), she wants it to go away and at points it does, in the form of episodic blackouts. When she snaps, breaking her phone and blacking out again, she stabs a man outside of Shepherd’s Bush Tube Station, are the allegations she makes against the man the truth or has she convinced herself to believe an imagined version of events, does she know more than she’s letting on? A tangled web unfolds, providing multiple questions, a remarkably engaging format through which we hear it all from Ali herself. The play vicariously traversing the boundaries of identity, dancing on the edges between monster and victim, which are both shown in equal measure. Also delivering a powerful exegesis on mental health and how we treat it, questioning how helpful it is to simply medicate as well as what the true meaning of sanity is.

The smashing of Ali’s phone and the freeing euphoria she subsequently describes, provides a strong message about our reliance on smart phones in this digital age. Capasso, (Ali) then cupping the air where a phone used to be, describing it as an addiction, an itch we need to scratch. Yet, a phone symbolises much more than this here, it’s an example of a falsified reality, something as aforementioned VOiD wonderfully navigates. Referring to the fact that what we post online is usually never the full story, a highlight reel of how we want to be viewed, with how we interact often not being how we would in real life, the digital version of us is therefore falsified or enhanced. As earlier mentioned, the piece also touches upon rape as well as the criminal justice system. It torturously captures the flaws in ‘the system’ and unwarranted treatment of victims, such as disbelief in their claims entirely and asking questions like ‘what were you wearing?’. Whilst the prison system and its ability to rehabilitate is dextrously debated alongside this.

Bruce Webb’s direction is fantastic, incredibly paced, full of vibrancy and depth, creating a darkly sinister atmosphere that twist and turn, continuously playing with the audience. Whilst Capasso’s performance is absolutely stunning. Her delivery is gritty and complex, perfectly conveying the multiple layers and extremities of Ali. We were in awe.

Catch VOiD now, go, go, go! Click here.

 

Director – Bruce Webb

Performer and Writer – Sophia Capasso

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