No View From the Window (24:7 Festival)
It’s a strange little one hander that almost hits all the right marks but suffers from a consistently disappointing narrative that is uneven to say the least.
Set in a grimy old bathroom, we join Louise (Mahon) as she retreats from her mother’s funeral party downstairs and reminisces about the difficulties she had growing up and her poor relationship with her mother. Louise constantly shifts from mood to mood at the drop of a hat and we are continually taken into her memories and imagination. There is too much of this and it's distracting from the overall narrative. Louise’s motivation for her behaviour also lacks clarity and more than once I wondered what relevance her ramblings had on proceedings.
During the 50-minute long performance Louise makes several references to a huge secret and at the very last minute reveals the most ludicrous secret imaginable. Had this secret been revealed earlier and the issues surrounding it explored with more depth and sensitivity the premise may have garnered more credence. As it is, I found the conclusion plain ridiculous.
On the plus side Mahon proves an engaging performer and has lovely clarity to her speech that should be commended. A simple, but very effective set by Kate Unwin serves to heighten Louise’s sense of claustrophobia and Kim Gillespie (the very same person as the co-writer Kim Jackson) directs with style.
Overall though I found No View From the Window a disappointing experience. However, I sense potential in this play which just needs to be unlocked.
- Malcolm Wallace