Review, Someone of Significance, Chelsea Rep, The Acting Studio, Vault Festival

 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Based in the USA, Someone of Significance features the story of two people who fall in love against the obstacles of life, careers, of each other. The two couldn’t be more different and were it not for a chance encounter, Rosie, a black, left, working class woman and Brad, a white, CEO of a property corporation, would never have met. They have similarities, they have differences, but over a lifetime, their love continues.

For a two person play, the production values are minimal, and this is all that is needed. Props and staging that is changed upon the stage and in front of our eyes, while under the guise of a dimmed light, help to set the scene. Often based in rooms alone, this adds to the secrecy of their union and career, with its limited furniture and lack of distractions.

Each performer has their own corner with a range of clothing and accessories which they change into intermittently for each scene. Unless it is a drastic change, this often seemed unnecessary to the scene and often overlooked. When they changed something to showcase the passage of time, this is obvious and helps to bring the idea of time to the story line. Sometimes, it only felt like a reason for a break during the production, which could have been utilised differently.

The performers themselves were very good. With clear skill and a good approach to naturalism, they were convincing enough as their two characters. They interacted well and bounced off one another but I found it hard to feel this budding love that they were meant to share. Perhaps it was their limitation of stage and direction; often they stood in the same place, facing the audience but there was little movement around the stage to give levels and something with more action. Yes, there was the occasional sitting or a moment when Brad is involved in yoga, but it often felt as if there were invisible X marks the spot for each scene, and it was always the same spot.

Someone of Significance has a great narrative and intention, with good performers who understood their assignment. But it missed something special to believe in the true connection of these characters and left the performers at the will of direction, creating a limitation on the movement on stage.

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