Imagine the most surreal play you could ever think of, think Vic ‘n’ Bob. Then add some Beatles lyrics. Then add Pip Chamberlin dressed as – potentially – the next Dr Who. Sprinkle with quantum physics. OK, now you have ‘String’ by Allison Davies.
As part of ‘Teesside New Writing Festival 2014’, ‘String’ was debuted at Middlesborough Theatre to rapturous applause from the audience. I can try to tell you about it but I fear it may not make a lot of sense. ‘String’ is in the moment, it’s absurd, it’s unreal and it’s hilarious.
Tio’s quit his job, just like his girlfriend Nina told him to do. However, a chance encounter with an indigent begins a very strange day (or was it a month? A year, perhaps?) for Tio. OK, we all roared with laughter but I’ve got to say that there were some really touching moments in this play, too. What can I say? Alli Davies has a real skill: crying with laughter one minute and then pondering the meaning of life in the next.
One audience member compared it to Douglas Adams’s ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ but, for me, Pip Chamberlin and his cracking costume (replete with clashing colours) put me in mind of a ‘League of Gentlemen’ sketch. If you know me, you’ll know that a comment like that is high praise indeed.
Not only is ‘String’ hilarious, it’s thought-provoking and intelligent. The cast and crew involved have been very brave in taking this project on, it’s in no way average but I expect many would have shied from it, afraid to be different.
It’s gone for now but I have a feeling ‘String’ will be connecting us all again soon.