Review Rattled, Rachel Harper, Mismanaged Theatre, The Old Red Lion By Hannah Goslin

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A black box theatre above a pub seems like the perfect setting for Rattled.

The stage is basic, there isn’t much to it, and this works well for a one woman show where the acting and the writing is imperative.

It is dark, gloomy, our focus over a bench and with a light that swings above. It begins with flashing of lights and a hooded figure thrashing around. When the lights begin, it’s a young lady and she’s found a car holdall with a baby in it.

The narrative continues with the woman speaking a monologue; looking back at her past, at her present and inputted with moments of anxiety and worry; some directed to and about the baby in the holdall.

Rattled is a play based on true events of a woman with post-natal depression. The series of events are mixed for theatrical effect, but Rachel Harper does a very good job of bringing realism and emotion to the character. Part of me felt uneasy and a little unconvinced at times when her character continued with nervous giggling – obviously this is for theatrical purposes, but after a while it became grating and unreal.

Harper, however, is very emotional and while this may not be her story, it is obvious that she feels connected to it – this certainly gives some backing to her acting and helps it to be as natural as possible. You wanted to hug her and tell her all is okay – you want her to stop talking to her baby as someone she doesn’t know. Ultimately, you want to help.

Rattled is a wonderful play and really in-depth and true. With some work and maybe a bigger stage, Rattled could be something special and really make waves.

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