Lockdown Theatre Company monologues
While we’ve been binging Netflix or ranking our local takeaways, the Lockdown Theatre Company has been producing a salient series of monologues available to watch on YouTube. Founded by writer and performer Rohan Candappa, the project is designed to support actors during lockdown while confronting the myriad of anxieties and complexities brought on by the pandemic. Written by Candappa and performed by an array of talented actors, some of the pieces discuss lockdown directly, while others are more allegorical. A highlight of the collection is Solitary, in which a foul-mouthed foetus (Georgia Nicholson) delivers a wonderful diatribe on her imprisonment in the womb – you thought four months in isolation was bad, try nine!
Self-filmed under socially distanced conditions, the 5-15 minute monologues touch upon themes of race (Curving The Run), ableism (DIFF.) and class; the longest piece, A Short Film About Theatre And Class, revisits Look Back in Anger’s Jimmy Porter (Jan Goodman) with the angry young man now an angry middle-aged woman. It’s the only episode that makes use of multiple rooms, the rest generally feature the performer against a single blank background with nothing in the way of staging or visual stimulation. This isn’t to suggest that there’s a lack of variety though; in ARTHUR a puppet (Mark Jefferis) discusses The Voice and “anal leakage” (separately, it’s worth noting), while HILL 235 tells the story of a British soldier (Josh Harper) killed in the Korean War.
There’s a gratifying sense of evolution in more recent episodes (including Curving The Run and THE PUZZLE) that begin as seemingly innocuous musings on lockdown before revealing hidden depths – the personal stories speak to the universality of a pandemic that affects us all in different ways. Certain pieces (such as In Which God Starts A Self-Help Group) feel more like well-worn territory, but with 17 currently available to watch, the Lockdown Theatre Company delivers a high level of consistency and faultless quality of performances. The final monologue (the Blitz-based London Calling) is due to be released on 7th September, 2020, and judging by the series so far, the finale will be well worth staying in for.
Photo: Lockdown Theatre Company
The Lockdown Theatre Company monologues are available to watch on YouTube from 24th March until 7th September 2020. For further information visit the theatre’s YouTube page here.
Watch Solitary here: