• The Record Press

Quiet Little Things, a New Play by Odd House Theatre

“Art is powerful. What you see shapes who you are.”

This Month, Oddhouse Theatre company will debut their play, Quiet Little Things at Brighton Fringe Online Festival. During a pandemic riddled with chilling statistics and stories of sexual violence, April Spiers and Hannah Fellbaum use physical theatre to portray the incremental prevalence of rape culture in modern England. The pre-recorded production uses physical theatre in the form of clowning and absurdism to portray these contrastingly serious themes. April and Hannah wrote, “rape culture is a topic that a lot of people avoid talking about, but it happens to so many people and there isn't a clear-cut way of dealing with it”. Fitting then, to use their play and the connection of clown and absurdism to challenge the treatment of rape culture by loudly unpacking the subject along with all its stigma. Inspiration for the play derived from their reflections on the patriarchal and coercive nature of society as well as their own individual experiences. In particular, they were motivated by U.S. Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks on the consequences of silence when it comes to the abuse of power. April and Hannah wrote that “it is so important to speak out if you feel like you can or those who cannot” and Quiet Little Things, contrary to its name, does exactly that.

The show follows the journey of two clowns who discover an alternate reality. Gradually they penetrate its innocent facade to discover its darker truths. As such, the play depicts an odyssey of changing perspectives, the demise of innocence towards a destructive, yet empowering existentialism. When I asked April and Hannah what the experience was like creating and performing the online play their response was, “it has been terrifying but it's also given us a lot of freedom to play with the presentation of the piece”. The initial creative processes happened remotely, with Hannah in London and April in Northampton, and like so many things, the pandemic made its creative mark on the process, broadening their artistic visions for the piece. In carefully balancing live theatre with film and without the input of an audience, they both had to have their “director hats on”, ultimately creating something unique, experimental and utterly personal.

Hannah and April are both Drama and Theatre Arts Graduates from Goldsmiths university of London, where they met and shared their passion for “connecting and being vulnerable with an audience through the use of clown”. Following the legendary play-writes Samuel Beckett and Arthur Adamov, Quiet Little Things embraces the power of clown and explores its relation “to the political field and wider power of theatre as a whole”. Hannah and April attribute their love of absurdism to its ability to “allow an audience member to have more freedom and imagination to explore their own realms of reality”. It quickly became clear, when I spoke with Hannah and April that their play is as much an invitation to experience as it is an experience itself. They want people to “come away wondering what they have just watched and how does this world relate to mine?”

In this way, the very essence of the play is existential, provoking “every audience member who watches it to know they have more power than they realise”.

You can find more of Quiet Little Things HERE.

This article was written by the talented Tertia Paterson

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