Review: ‘I’ve been waiting’ @ The Theatre on the Downs ★ ★ ★ ★


By Anya Dixon, First Year Classical Studies

An all-new performance brought to life by Many Minds; a Bristol-based mental health charity. This uplifting and emotional piece carries the audience through a journey of discovery and unity - endeavouring to unearth our place in nature during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through collaboration with vocal composers, Verity Standen and Jack Drewery, the performance creates heart-felt sounds and harmonies that lead us through the experience of shared isolation and the all too familiar uncertainty that followed.

Director, Viki Browne, skilfully replicates these raw emotions that we as an audience strongly relate to, and uses this shared experience as a means of creating unity and togetherness.

Image Courtesy of Paul Blakemore

This memorable performance conveys an insightful and positive experience of how reconnecting with nature and our creativity may pave the way out of the storm of Covid-19.

The show is introduced with a poetical and touching narrative, symbolic of our emotions, and is followed by live singing and dancing that radiate a sense of joy and freedom in rediscovering the simple features and details of life. Not only is this a performance, but an insightful discovery of how we can continue with our lives and find joy after the destruction the pandemic leaves behind. This show is a demonstration of how nature can ground us and provide a sense of relief to the uncertainty.

The technical features of the show do not disappoint either. From intriguing props to beautifully vivid colour and lighting, all of which help to emphasise the deep emotions conveyed throughout. Despite the lack of dialogue and spoken words throughout the show, the performers do an outstanding job at expressing their message through the fluidity of their movement and facial expressions.

Image Courtesy of Paul Blakemore

The audience is left hooked through rapid changes of atmosphere – frantic and chaotic moments to serenity, these changes in pace are alluring. One may find that there are confusing moments in this performance; the sudden changes of atmosphere would have ideally benefited from some dialogue.

Yet, in a sense, the lack of speech adds to the theme of simplicity; the simplicity of finding ourselves and exploring sources of happiness through nature. Of course, this also means room for ambiguity and alternative interpretations – all of which add to the strikingly curious aspect of the performance.

Although, what really made the show was the thought put into it. It is a show accessible to all audiences and accommodating to all needs. There is a strong emphasis that the audience atmosphere is more relaxed, providing a laid-back feel, making the performance more enjoyable to watch. Pay-it-forward tickets allow even more people to enjoy live theatre, as admission is free for those without the extra cash. Eye masks, earplugs, water and tissues are also provided if needed, making this show accessible to all audience members.

Image Courtesy of Paul Blakemore

Overall, this performance as a whole is outstandingly expressive of the emotional journey through the pandemic and shines a spotlight on the importance of our mental health through this uncertainty. It is truly a remarkable and intriguing piece of art.

Review: Jane Eyre @ Cotham Parish Church ★ ★ ★ ★
Arts in Bristol - editor's must-visits

Featured Image: Paul Blakemore

Have you seen any local Theatre yet this term?