Oh, The Humanity at The Space
Oh, The Humanity is a one-hour performance written by New York playwright Will Eno. Divided into five parts, the story is centred around five different situations that examine the various irrationalities of the human condition.
Directed by Holly Mazur, Oh, The Humanity makes for an agreeable time at the theatre. The decor itself is bald, consisting of merely a table and some chairs, but this is toughened up by a strongly performing cast (Rudzani Kgomotso Moleya, Florence Cady, Jason Ricketts and Max Wilkinson) who play a variety of roles throughout the play. It is precisely the ill-adorned stage that gives the performance its strength. The focus in this play is supposed to be on interaction – human interaction to be exact.
This so-called exchange, or sometimes failure thereof, is found between the characters, but the play’s main intent is to communicate with the audience: as the title suggests, the show is an exploration of human behaviour. Despite the often surreal happenings in the show there is a certain relatability present, and the actors do their best to make this happen.
The coach initiates this when he asks the audience how we would describe the past year of our lives, which instantly evokes a thought process. We also connect with the two love-seekers as they talk about their desires and summarise their characteristics. It is funny to see how similar the pair of strangers is while they alternate their speeches. The socially awkward deliverer of bad news is perhaps the most recognisable character, as she stands for the ubiquitous fear of speaking in public. The photographers remind you of traumas that everyone has dealt with, and the presumably married couple, who are going to a church service (for what exactly they cannot agree on), are a painful reminder of how our egocentricity.
Oh, The Humanity forces you to think. Much like the characters in it we sometimes fail to communicate properly by being too self-involved, constantly questioning who we are and the choices we make. It can make for a lonely existence, but the show reminds us that we are not alone in our peculiarities and that unites us.
Oh, The Humanity at the Space Arts Centre from 16th until 20th August 2016, for further information or to book visit here.