THEATRE REVIEW: 2000 Stories ★★

2000 Stories
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Wednesday 19th - Saturday 22nd June 2020

Alux Harris’ 2000 Stories tells the life Selena, a young woman who is generous to the poor by handing out notes when she feels bad for not bringing out change from a coffee shop, works on projects with the International Social Connections Schemes, and has a fascination over Michelle Obama. Selena is simply your everyday girl next door, and that’s where the problem lies with the story, one in which always delivers one tone and has you scratching your head into figuring what the whole production is centered around.

As a one woman show, Selena is portrayed by Shiquerra Robertson, and in general comes across as a confident performer in her movements; she has a good attitude, yet for a show that is simply set within Selena’s flat, the use of rhetorical questions falls thin in providing a concept, as it has you wondering if Selena is aware of her audience, because whilst it seems that she is merely talking to herself, a dilemma in which occurs when she is pondering to send of a comment about black facing prompts a response from the audience in which she acknowledges, making the whole performance unclear on what we are trying to achieve and take away.

Furthermore, whilst most of the lighting is natural to compliment Chloe Benbow’s stylish set design, Nathan Benjamin’s lighting at times comes across unnatural with flashing lights and an orange glow around the playing space when Selena at one point puts on Missy Elliott’s 2001 track ‘Get Your Freak On’, which then completely rips us away from any genuine setting. With no thread running through the story arc, the multiple anecdotes surrounding her father’s love of Fish Pie, or a story about strawberries earlier on in the show, is unnecessary and only drags the running time further to what it should be. Even when Selena is listening to recommended podcasts, the recordings come off fake and dishonest, with a voice that drones on during the numerous audio episodes of ‘Global Gathering’.

Overall, 2000 Stories is an unsteady and messy production in the way of not fully understanding where it’s trying to go or what it’s trying to achieve. Slowly losing any genuine empathy for Selena throughout, it feels more like a collection of random stories thrown into the mix rather than actually trying to create a natural arc for the character.

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