Play in Your Bathtub
Erin B Mee
Flying Solo! & This Is Not A Theatre Company
There are times when it is possible to make an instant connection with the objectives of a playwright and appreciate the purpose of their play. With Play in Your Bathtub, however, have a feeling I may be at odds with what Flying Solo! & This Is Not A Theatre Company are trying to achieve. I have a strong aversion to / prejudice against vague, mystical gubbins. Consequently, I take Erin B Mee’s Play in Your Bathtub to be a satire, but the play is performed with such sincerity am not sure whether the company intends for it to be taken seriously.
The play, described as a site-specific audio play that takes place in your own bathtub, is certainly authentic. Soothing, slightly condescending voices are used throughout. The listener is encouraged to set the mood and participate by filling a bathtub or foot spa, making a drink, lighting scented candles and, ahem, "drink from the well of yourself and begin again". The vague, mystical jargon in the play is spot-on (one person claims to be able to speak in particle physics) very much in the style of the nonsense in countless self-empowerment books.
The spoken advice and mantras alternate with lengthy new-age musical interludes. Indeed, the play is so realistic the sound of lapping water lasts for several minutes after the actual conclusion to make sure listeners are completely relaxed. There are moments—rhythmic sounds of breathing that have a sexual tone—when it seems the company are tipping their hand and admitting the show is intended as a spoof, but in the main the presentation is with a very straight face.
Play in Your Bathtub is a very funny play. Not sure the company would agree it is intended to be comical but then you can never trust a hippy.
Reviewer: David Cunningham