This slightly surreal, edgy drama of a young woman protecting her own territory after being left alone is performed online and is available to view here. The monologue is created after the writer’s full play The Beast of Blue Yonder, due to be staged at Southwark Playhouse, is cancelled due to the lockdown. As a response, the cast are performing one monologue, written by the play’s author, each week online; Gators is the first.
The claustrophobic theme of the play has useful parallels to current events; the heroine addresses the camera directly from the comfort of her sofa, which mirrors the audience’s lives right now. The danger that the heroine faces outside her safe space is also increasing with time. She sees the danger clearly but her neighbours deny the situation and try to humiliate her. One of the endearing characteristics of the heroine is how her commitment to honesty backfires. This later becomes central to the plot.
Direction from Wiebke Green allows the story of the monologue to be explored through well-paced reactions from the actress; the challenge of being convincing in the absence of a live audience is certainly met. The central role is played with nuanced timing by Rachel Bright, who embodies the various characters of the story effortlessly under Green’s naturalistic direction.
There are some masterful reveals in this subtle, dynamic script, written by celebrated playwright Philip Ridley, which this review will not expose. This welcome gem of theatre is waiting to be discovered and is best experienced alone; serving up perfect food for thought to an audience of one.