Pros: An incredible emotional performance of passion and strength.
Cons: External noises were audible within the audience, and latecomers were not appreciated.
If you’re unable to get up to Edinburgh this summer the Camden Fringe is up and running in London with some fantastic productions. A strong recommendation of mine is Ctrl+Alt+Delete at Camden People’s Theatre. This fiery and intense production is about a young girl’s journey into womanhood. It tells her story of growing up and how the relationships she experienced with others have influenced her outlook on life. If you’re looking for something gritty and truthful, then this one woman production will not let you down. Written and performed by Emma Packer, this outstanding performance of integrity, bravery and political views will make you feel an array of emotions.
Camden People’s Theatre is based in an ideal location in central London. Front of house has an authentic essence about it. Small and slightly tired, but brought to life with audience members and cast alike. Inside the theatre also embodies these qualities, but the intimate space provided just the right capacity for Emma Packer to engage and entice her audience.
A simple chair alone accompanied her on the stage, alongside various music tracks from each era and snippets of conversation between characters to tie up loose ends in the story. The lighting was symbolic of character, rather than setting. Used when Emma switched between characters, it gave the audience a sense of who we were about to see. Due to the intimacy of the performance I’d advise that latecomers not be admitted; given the entrance is placed at the back of the stage it did draw attention away from the stage when they were let in.
Emma Packer’s writing and performance were magnificent. Everything from her voice, to her physicality and the emotion that was invested in the relationships and all the characters portrayed were faultless. I could not help but fall in love. Her personality and her outlook on life is to be admired and more often than not during this performance you’ll forget you’re sat in a theatre, but rather listening to an activist speaking with pure passion about something that needs to be changed. Beyond the structure of a fringe production, this performance could work in so many different platforms across the country. Emma’s change into ‘mum’ was hard not to hate and want to see more of. Her superb portrayal of ‘mum’ made me laugh when I didn’t want to. I was invested in the lives presented from beginning to end. Partnered with Katherine Hayes’ direction, this pair have put together something very special that deserves admiration.
This production felt very current given today’s social affairs, both politically and morally. Open minds and an open heart is all that’s needed to appreciate this production for what it really is.