Review: All Of It, Royal Court Theatre: Mesmerising performance from Kate O'Flynn
In three short plays performed as monologues by Kate O'Flynn, writer Alistair McDowall explores authenticity, the inner vs outer self.
Northleigh, 1940, the first play, starts explosively with the poetic story of mythical creatures. But it's all in the head of a woman who escapes into books as often as possible.
But they aren't the sort of books a woman 'should' be reading, so she hides them. Later she has a conversation with her father in their Morrison shelter; it is ordinary, domestic and mundane.
Which is the authentic self, and what is the role of society in shaping or hindering that?
In Stereo, the second play, ordinariness again collides with less ordinary, often in an amusing way. Inner thoughts are observations and descriptions, and the self is divided, appearing in different parts of a house:
"I hear myself moving around downstairs I was keeping out of my way"
Is the voice the house? Perhaps. Just as the self has divided, so do the voices. It becomes a cacophony of inner monologues with nothing distinguishable. Which did beg the question, what was the point other than to create a noise of dialogue?
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