The Beast Will Rise: Gators at Tramp Online
Forced to cancel the world premiere of Philip Ridley’s The Beast of Blue Yonder at Southwark Playhouse, theatre company Tramp is offering a special something to brave the horrors of the current coronavirus lockdown: not one, not two, but 14 world premiere video monologues in a series titled The Beast Will Rise, directed by Wiebke Green.
The first of the series, Gators, tells a powerfully haunting allegory of a society which lives side by side with – well, gators. The alligators live on the fringes of society, largely ignored and seen as a minor pest which “go sweet on” humans, who in return shun and threaten them. After several years of humiliation – and in some cases, outright murder – by mankind, they join forces and start a revolution. The unnamed narrator (Rachel Bright), hiding from the vicious onslaught, finally resolves to give herself to a gator who had been stalking her and announces her undying love to it.
It’s amazing how quickly Tramp was able to put this monologue together – write and refine the script, direct and rehearse via Skype, and finally broadcast it in a stunning presentation. The production, needless to say, is little more than Bright sitting in a living room and narrating the story to the camera, but she pulls it off effortlessly. Indeed, keeping an audience entertained through a monologue is difficult at the best of times, but Bright manages to do so in isolation through a stellar performance which brings to life the absurd scenario – and absurd it is, even if the writing and pacing is first-class.
It’s brilliant to see so many creatives working together to deliver new material to the screen as social distancing measures continue to dominate all our lives. The Beast Will Rise is a wonderful new series to cope with the storm, as Gators testifies all too well. A fantastic show to look forward to every week.