Rocket Girl Ditto Theatre Company And Remote Control Performance Collective Strantaer
Reviewed by Emma McCaffrey I was invited by the National Theatre of Scotland’s Karen Allan to attend the performances of Exchange 2018. Unfortunately, I could only attend for one night but what a night! As an autistic person and despite being an actor myself, the theatre isn’t one of my favourite places to be, especially when I know nothing about the shows I’m going to see. With a warm audience presence however, I did manage to relax and focus on both shows. “Rocket Girl” transports us to 1969 where we meet a girl named Maisie who like every child, has a dream. Ditto Theatre Company, a company specialising in puppetry, movement and storytelling brought Maisie and her story to life which had people behind me laughing and crying. I have to be honest and say that as a kid, I hated being asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. I remember drawing a vampire when I was six and being told to take to seriously. So, I drew a teacher to make her happy. Now a “grown up”, I wish I had Maisie’s determination to achieve her dream and her bravery to stand up to those who dismissed her innocence and intelligence. I can’t really say much else except that this show is to be experienced and applauded at is was by the audience. Following that emotional rollercoaster came “Remote Control”, a show about Stranraer (“Stran-roar. ROAR!”) known as the place where it’s closest city is in Ireland, it looks like a giant fat nose on the map, “The Proclaimers” mocked it in their song “Cap in Hand”, it was mentioned in Sons of Anarchy, it’s Wikipedia page has a lot to be desired (I looked it up to get some of these notes) and there used to be ferry’s but now there’s none (just don’t talk to the locals about it). Creating the city on stage by its talented and euthanistic cast, the show gives us a history lesson about the seemingly unremarkable place where community is strong, New Look is the best place to buy clothes and there is a real love/hate relationship with the place. The show also touches on how we often use someone’s location to unfairly mock or discriminate against them and the cast manage to balance both humour and meaning behind what they present. There is a real pride from where they’re from behind their façade and the ever-changing ways of telling their story’s – from poems, to songs to lip syncing – made me think that perhaps the final message of getting yourself sorted out and make a positive change in your life was something I should go home and start. I was disappointed not to be able to see the other shows, but I wish everyone in Exchange 2018 the best and don’t be scared of the future. Make the difference continue to make those shows! https://www.dittotheatrecompany.co.uk/ http://drewmakestheatre.com/performance-collective-stranraer
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