Enclosure

Martin Lytton
Pricking Thumbs Theatre
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre Studio

Pricking Thumbs is a new Gloucestershire-based theatre company whose aim is to redress the balance of age and gender through challenging, inspirational theatre.

The opening of Enclosure is very reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Scottish play’s three Weird Sisters; one was almost waiting for the line “when shall we three meet again”. In this one-act play, three women, Caro Day (Sandra Price), Jude Emmet (Jo Weaver) and Jacquie Crago (Erda), are joined by the threads of life, through many lives, who meet again.

Set in 2048, Britons are fenced in after Brexit and everywhere Big Brother is watching. Again, I felt a bit reminiscent of an old TV series V. Misdemeanours are punished by correction, and sometimes death, and one of the misdemeanours is remembering. Remembering is subversive, resistance, and not to be allowed.

Jo Weaver, who lives on her own and paying a tax to do so, meets up with a co-worker, Sandra Price, and invites her to come and live with her. Erda flits between a beggar woman, the eyes of Big Brother and elder of the three Weird Sisters who also has the knowledge of how one can escape. But Sandra has had enough of being a harbinger of chaos and wants, just for once, to be “normal” and live her life even if it is under surveillance.

There are strong performances by all the actors—or if redressing the balance should this not be actresses—directed by Kirstie Davis. They engaged with each other and with the audience, even with the totally distracting performance going on in the Everyman’s main house encroaching on this piece of drama by Martin Lytton.

Being promoted as “part myth, part thriller, part warning, this play will keep you guessing to the very end”, it did, as I was left not quite sure as to what it was trying to say, even though enjoying the skill of the performers in the production.

The matinée performance on Saturday 14 April will be a sign language interpreted performance.

Reviewer: Judith Wordsworth