Our families lay the blueprint for the bonds we go on to establish, our parents an example of a loving relationship that we ourselves hope for in the future with a prospective loved one and look to emulate. But as time passes, and families drift apart on a distance level, maintaining those bonds become ever more important and within that the realisation of how unique these bonds are. An exploration of family, connection and the power of song, Barney Norris presents We Started to Sing, a production marking the re-opening of the Arcola Theatre.
As a wartime couple, played by Barbara Flynn and Robin Soans celebrate their 70th anniversary and their son played by David Ricardo-Pearce navigates his relationship with his partner played by Naomi Peterson – the gap in between both generations is fascinating to watch, both couples in their own way working to make their relationships last.
We Started to Sing celebrates the interconnectedness between families, Norris intricately tying the lives of all four members delicately, anniversaries, birthdays, move ins, dinner dates the common threads that bind all together. The evening a steady paced affair focused on the subtleties of these meet ups and the role distance plays in determining how these reunions go. The power of song quietly resonating throughout, a piano located on stage played by Soans at points lightening the mood and reigniting the joy of music, Peterson also tapping into her own musical prowess and filling the space with graceful tones that contribute a sense of calm.
The evening asks for us all to slow down and appreciate what is, family connection powerfully observed, generational norms and expectations explored. We listen to the conversations that shape families and how both couples view love, what this means to them and how this manifests. Video projections of important family moments playing throughout deeply rooting us in this family’s world, a play filled with a quiet sentimental value.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
We Started to Sing is currently playing until Saturday 18th June 2022 at the Arcola Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…