Last night I sat, mug of loose leaf tea in hand, and waited for the first of the PUSH 2017 show that I’d be seeing.
Standing Next To You has a cast of three. There isn’t staging as such, just you- the audience – and the characters. A new Mum, an aspiring editor in an office job and a single woman trying online dating. And, while their stories are entirely independent of each other, the one thing they have in common is that, even when surrounded by people, they feel the incredible swell of loneliness that so many people do.
I liked the premise; we sit on the train on our phones, we go out to dinner and instagram the food, we send and receive thousands of texts a month that mainly say nothing. Do we even take in the words that are in front of us? Would you notice if one of your friends was really unhappy or does that ‘fine’ mean they’re fine?
The scripting was excellent – some comedy to lighten a serious topic- and the actors are highly skilled. Matthew Foray is particularly talented and his ending lines really brought home the impact loneliness can have.
While the play is a promenade play I don’t think this added to the experience; the quality of the acting would have been just as impact full had the audience been stationary and perhaps even say down but not directly next to anyone. Saying that, it was enjoyable to experience different views of the action.
I’m standing next to you is on at PUSH 2017 until 18 January.