The Studio, The Vault Festival
Tuesday 3rd - Sunday 8th March 2020

Spanning across two timelines, the message that V&V tries to convey through it’s performance is the art of communication between lovers; in an undisclosed year, though around 1922 would be a guess due to when Viginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West’s first met with each other, they are writing sweet letters and anxiously waiting upon the others response, whilst in the modern era, Lottie and Mia are texting over a dating app, getting instant replies, and learning just what it’s like to love each other through only images and some raunchy sexting.

As a piece of writing, Misha Pinnington pens juxtapositioned lover affairs that ultimately do not hold up in grabbing our attention and feeling any empathy for the characters on stage; Mia especially in the modern world comes across as someone who is out to hurt those she comes across and the way in which she is depicted in the latter stages of the piece is quite disgusting and horrible, though artfully played from Elizabeth Williams. Her range of emotions is not as versatile compared to her stage partner Heather Wilkins though, who brings more flare and vibrance to Lottie that is compelling to watch to begin with, but does falls victim at times to become overexaggerated.

It’s also not very clear either as to why both timelines are presented in the piece, as there is hardly any real correlation between the two settings, with lack of energy in the middle section holding the two relationships afloat coming off unsteady in pacing, and most certainly not helped by Rachel Sampley’s merky lighting design which does no wonders throughout the whole piece, unable to fully transmit the emotions and locations in any state, with moments of darkness showing little expression on the performers faces, though Nicola Chang’s sound design does allow us to differentiate between the two periods.

Furthermore, the projection used to depict the dating app is poorly executed due to a lag in typing that appears on screen that should be linked up to the performers vocals, but also the projection is directed behind a singular white chair, blocking the audience's view and so is quite baffling, considering that the chair itself does not play a vital role in any means, and is even tossed away after meer moments on stage at the start of the piece.

Overall, V&V is in most parts a flat and uneven love story that gains very little achievement in it’s partnership of characters or vision from it’s creative team, with no real acknowledgement in how the two separate time periods are meant to correlate with each other, other than the fact it shows two seperate ways to communicate emotions.


Popular Posts