Belongings @ Brixton House Review

A fundamental need we all share, is that needing to belong – family forming our initial foundations and place in the world. Family circumstances however something that we ourselves can’t determine, yet plays an integral part of our lives. Family, a structure that differs dependent on circumstance. An exploration of what ‘family’ looks like to three young people brought up within the care system, Tangled Feet and Rowan Tree‘s Belongings beautifully amplifies the voices of the often unheard – and contributes an honest look at the impact of these challenging circumstances.

Surrounded by bundled heaps of clothing, and a moveable steel closet-like climbing frame, Leila (Jesse Bateson) and BT (Harris Cain) navigate their way through the day to day of being brought up in care. The integration of new housemate Cleo (Carla Garrett) one that slowly unfolds and makes for an endearing 60 minutes as we watch connections gradually build and interactions with relatives and prospective new families play out. Tangled Feet from the get go aware of the young voices that take to the stage and honouring this with the show’s playful tone. Nathan Curry maintaining an uplifting energy and pace, despite the sensitivity of the subject matter of care, and with this encouraging instant connection.

The routine world of these three young people steadily morphing into other realities – the steel climbing frame used to ascend, spin and bridge other realms. The heaped clothing transforming into the sea, as well as great hiding spaces. Clothing also manipulated to heighten the voices of loved ones who are at a distance. A sheet used as a projector screen for a shadow puppetry show amongst other things. Belongings is a myriad of moments showcasing imagination and inventiveness. Composer and sound designer Steve Watling serves not only as a behind the scenes creative, but as the fatherly figure – the face of this care home that ensures the smooth running of everything. A role he’s shared with fellow technician Josephine Tremelling during the show’s run, Tremmelimg helped to formulate the role. This is a show that fosters connection, we hear of Cleo’s, Leila’s and BT’s worries, hopes and dreams that echo – we root for all three characters.

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Belonging was shown from Tuesday 21st until Saturday 25th March 2023 at Brixton House. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop