A Streetcar Named Desire – Rapture Theatre

By on September 14, 2017

Running from the 5th to the 9th of September 2017, Rapture Theatre’s retelling of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire¬†matched a powerful narrative with an equally powerful performance. The scene was captivating from it’s outset, with the haunting chimes of New Orleans’ railway playing as we arrived at our seats, and though the whole action of the play takes place in a crowded two bedroom apartment and its street outside, the performance never faltered in its production of energy.

The play itself had a longer running time than audiences may have been expecting, totaling 3 hours with the inclusion of the intermission, but it was in the careful attention to detail that this sense of time melted away. Each performer on the stage brought a layer of complexity to the story, combining the intensity of William’s original characters with a notably modern sense of cultural disruption. Although sticking to a traditional use of costume, with the ladies’ nipped in waists and the classic a-line silhouette of the 1940s, Rapture theatre successfully brought the timeless tale of love, abuse and mental decay to the 21st century.

The most rivoting of the chaotic bunch, Blanche DuBois as performed by Gina Isaac was the star of the show. The all-consuming nature of ‘love and war’ was perfectly characterised in Isaac’s portrayal of the twisted sister, showcasing moments of dance, music and sinister comedy in perfect unison with the constant intensifying of her persona. As DuBois spiralled out of control, so too did Isaac deepen her presence on the stage, truly drawing her audience into the intricacies of Blanche’s life, suffering and ultimate breakdown.

With this intense spotlight on the delicacy of mental health, the world of 1940s New Orleans’ again raises its relevance to a modern audience. With government funding for mental health and wellbeing constantly being challenged, Rapture theatre’s performance of Streetcar is central to a newly emerging movement for the awareness and devillanisation of mental health.

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International Women’s Day

By on March 8, 2017

Today is a day, according to the UN, “when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political”. In a contemporary climate overshadowed with threats of fear, hate, instability and the alt-right, it is vitally important to remember and celebrate women past, present and future.¬† Without the constant and determined fight of women throughout history, many of the benefits that all of us live with would not exist – benefits that reach society as a whole through a society working as a whole, and not a half.

But today we thank not only those who paid their lives for our freedom, but think on those who have still to gain theirs. International Women’s Day, aside from serving to memorialise the strength of those who fought for our rights, is a platform to speak about the inequalities that still reign in the lives of women everywhere. As a citizen of a western country I can only be thankful that my rights become one step closer to equalisation every day, but is it with sorrow that I am forced to read, far too frequently, accounts of women across the world constrained and punished for what ultimately is an outward detail.

And so today, I raise these women up. I raise every 1 in 4 young girls in developing countries that have not finished their primary education. I raise every 1 in 3 women experiencing physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes, according to the World Health Organisation. I raise those women exposed to FGM; the women not entitled to own or inherit their own land; the child-brides; the women trapped in war; and every other woman struggling to reach their full potential through limited access to equal opportunities. I raise these women up not only as a reminder that there is still gendered suffering in the world, but in the hope that one day these women will be freed from their chains.

Happy International Women’s Day to everyone around the world, and may the future bring equality to the whole of humanity.

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