A Little Space, by Mind the Gap in association with Gecko, explores the themes of loneliness, isolation, and relationships. The companies ask the audience to consider “what does it mean to you to have a little space?”
The piece follows the lives of five people in an apartment block, and what happens when they connect and disconnect through choice and coincidence. It starts off eerily, in a dark, bare room framed with copper pipes and green fluorescent lighting. A character bangs on the pipes, creating a noise which resonates spookily into the crowd. The characters then use bright lights, fluid movement and sounds to bring this abstract piece to life throughout the scenes.
Each scene focuses on a different person in the block and their experiences with loneliness, fear and anxiety. The glitchy movements, screams, moans and emotional acting made this show extremely moving and, at times, quite unnerving. It contained very little spoken word and is obviously open for the audience’s interpretation. Unfortunately, it was a perhaps a little too abstract for me and I found myself lost in some of the acts throughout the show.
The programme mentions that this show draws on some of the performers' personal experiences and this is clearly evident from the actors' passion and intensity throughout. It is an extremely well-thought-out production, and the set design and props really make it come to life.
The Mind the Gap company is well respected within the industry and is considered a leader in learning disability arts and artists. It is great to see such inclusivity and diversity in theatre and I hope it continues.
Overall this was an extremely powerful and emotive piece of physical theatre. The soundtrack and set design are some of the best I’ve come across in Oxford, and the acting of all 5 performers is truthful and raw.
The show can be difficult to follow, and is open to interpretation, but don’t let that put you off. It really is worth the trip out if you’re looking for a challenging and edgy piece of theatre.