It’s the end of the world, and Sam is one of the sole survivors but how will she cope from here? Themes of loneliness, regret and fear surround this one-woman show. With a loveable character like Sam at the forefront and a wonderful actress portraying her, what more could audiences want?
Alone at the Edge of the Universe uses the challenges of recording a play during this time to its advantage. The directors Olivia Jones and Evie Press soared in their exploration of different camera angles. The entire play is supposed to be recorded on a phone that Sam found, which acts as her therapist of sorts, where she shares dark secrets and opens up about her emotions.
However, it is a shame that the room is so well lit; despite being in an abandoned warehouse, it is surprising that at the edge of the universe electricity is working fine, mainly when lines such as “one light left” are used, yet lighting has not changed. Another shortcoming is how audiences can hear someone using the front door multiple times during takes, but due to the difficulties that Covid-19 provides, this can be overlooked.
Playing a cynical, blunt and isolated character approaching her death is undoubtedly challenging, but Imogen Marchant excels in her performance as Sam. The takes are long, yet her acting remains natural and believable throughout. She absorbs herself in the character’s world and takes audiences on this journey with her and allows room for laughter in her silences which are surprisingly funny.
Olivia Jones’ writing is nothing short of phenomenal and makes the audience feel connected to Sam’s character. When Sam feels comforted in lines such as “I think talking has helped,” and relatable stories such as being unable to sleep due to overthinking makes Sam’s situation feel that little bit closer to home, helping with Marchant’s performance’s believability. The entire script is full of intimate and personal details of Sam’s life that audience’s feel like they should not be hearing but cannot stop listening to.
Alone at the Edge of the Universe is a brilliant watch; engaging and truly an acting masterclass. The script is something audience’s wish they had written themselves due to each of the lines’ natural quality and deep themes portrayed in a light manner — a brilliant DDF play, innovatively produced by Dani Frankal during such a difficult time.
Image: Castle Theatre Company