Seemingly a way of escaping the here and now, addiction has that silently sinister way of starting off in the periphery of one’s life before unknowingly rooting itself into every fibre of one’s being. A coping strategy for life’s harsh realities, battling an addiction is a tough prospect within itself. Delving into this facet of life in timely piece Follow the Lines, Olivia Pryle crafts a dynamic monologue carving out the ups and downs of someone trying their best to get by.
Situated in a London-based multi-bedroomed flat, the show pieces Chloe’s fragmented life together. Chloe immediately resonant as she juggles life on an olive stand with the pursuit of paving her way as a playwright. This punctuated by drug fuelled nights out and an attempt at dating the perfect sum up of the 21st century now. Rebecca Pryle’s dry, self deprecating, raw portrayal an energy that makes the show endearing to encounter.
Olivia Pryle honestly encapsulates what it is to gauge how damaging a drug addiction can be, but how, if you’re not surrounded by the right people, has the ability to always call you back, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Velenzia Spearpoint directs an evening steeped in authenticity, one characterised by Constance Villemont’s striking zig zagged neon backdrop and the various coats/jumpers hung up to signify the differing scenarios Chloe finds herself in. The coats serving as the ‘masks’ Chloe puts on in order to keep up appearances, these shifts important to watch play out. Sassy Clyde’s nostalgic garage-centric soundtrack heightening Chloe’s chaotic night’s out – this equally parts comical as it is a stark reality as to how she escapes. A visit to her parents the full stop that slows her chaotic life down, offering a pang of reality and humour – especially when her father reminds her of the promising prospects of a career in IT, if she so chooses to go down this route (which is unlikely). Follow the Lines stares well-being in the face and questions how best to approach it, it takes on a confessional, therapeutic approach – airing Chloe’s irks and hopes and with this, creating a necessary safe space to explore sexuality, mental health and the dreams we have and how we clasp on to them.
Written by Lucy Basaba.
Follow the Lines was shown from Tuesday 21st until Saturday 25th March 2023 at the Bread and Roses Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…