Everything Today Is The Same is a clever production. It tells the story of three young women trapped in a room with limited food and space, and with no recollection of how they came to be there. There’s no window to the outside world, and no interaction with it either – and, to add to the dark and uncertain ambiance, this dystopian dark comedy is perfectly situated in the underground basement arches of the Katzpace space.
We meet the three women, all dressed in a modern take on grey dystopian jumpsuits, as they go through their normal, everyday routines (with the exception of cleaning a terribly blocked toilet) – but things are starting to change slightly in the room. Food is running low, and one of the women is beginning to dream of a world she thinks she once knew.
It’s a smart production that, in the absence of the wider world, allows the audience to experience a similar isolation. The women are left to speculate what the world is like outside; the audience joins them in that speculation. We also have no context of what their outside world is like or how that led to their captivity; we share in their ignorance and it allows us to empathise with the women.
There’s a lot left unsaid here – why are they in the bunker? what’s the backstory? – but this adds to the intelligence of the production. The audience are allowed to wonder, to speculate, about the element of choice, free will and empowerment in this ‘captivity;’ and it’s an enjoyable part of the entire experience.
At times, the fights and snipes can go from clever to drunk Uni student at a house party, but in this situation there is also a question of how grown up these young women are. How long have they been here? Have they developed sexually and socially at a ‘normal’ pace, or has the time in their confinement stunted them? It is likely the latter, particularly when considering their partaking in regular sexual pleasure under the guise of a fun and innocent after-dinner game.
There’s good acting across the board with the three young, energetic actresses – Esra Alma, Klara Kaliger, Hester Tallack – each capable of carrying a scene and a story arc on their own, then diving perfectly back to the rhythmic order of things.
The element of obsession towards controllable elements of the space (the wooden blocks, the slightly broken chair) is a smart psychological nod to the women’s devolving mental states. There’s also humour to be had in the devolution. The scene with the plant walrus is delivered with perfect comedic timing by Esra Alma and is laugh out loud funny – but this is a thoughtful, to-the-point dystopian piece that is worth seeing and exploring for that alone.
It’s just an hour long but even that works well and it’s perfectly paced and timed for that hour.
Writer: E. C. Mason
Director: Danäe Cambrook
Producer: Emily Flo Carter
Booking Until: This show is next on between 11 and 15 June at Drayton Arms
Booking Link: http://www.draytonarmstheatre.co.uk/tickets/everything-today-is-the-same