‘Song of the Hive’ was the final act of the eight week stint of Writers’ ARCADE Rehearsed Readings and, although I didn’t manage to see any of the other plays, several of the writers involved in ARCADE intimated that they’d saved the best for last.
The bees are dying, Claire’s marriage is on shaky ground and lately she’s had problems finding the right words. When you lose control of your cognitive ability who do you become and what matters most?
Claire used to be able to taste words, now it’s all she can do to find the one she means. Told through a series of fragmented memories, this play is bang up to date in terms of environmental issues – fracking, selling areas of natural beauty to developers. It also felt particularly relevant following the recent general election. I think everyone in the audience could empathise with the helplessness felt by Claire during her struggle to preserve a place – and person – dear to her .
This heartfelt piece combined wider issues of environmentalism and politics with one woman’s struggle to save her marriage whilst trying to overcome progressive aphasia. Every aspect of this story was handled sensitively and the way my allegiance swung between certain characters was expertly crafted to reflect real life. Although this was a script in hand performance, there was no nuance missed and every actor really committed to the piece.
On the drive home, I had a discussion with The Boy Wonder about the play and we both realised we’d come away with different interpretations of certain events. That’s one of the many clever things about ‘Song of the Hive’, it’s ambiguous in the nicest possible way.
I really hope ‘Song of the Hive’ gets the recognition it deserves – and hopefully a tour.
Read more about Allison Davies and ‘Song of the Hive’ at Narc.