AboutFace Theatre Company, Close Ups

Review in Issue 14-2 | Summer 2002

After a day immersed in the buzz of the Streets of Brighton Festival, Close Ups was a satisfying shift in mood. In the small space of the Academy of Creative Training, made more intimate by the setting of only twelve places for the audience, I entered another world.

On a screen centre stage, the shadow of a woman waiting, expectant, loomed then receded. Once the audience settled, the woman emerged from her shadow with a tape recorder and sat facing, watching the audience. The screen became a canvas onto which close-ups of streetscapes, buildings and roads rushed, denying the eye an opportunity to focus on any one image.

Lonely and displaced in a new city, the woman tells how she seeks refuge in the cinema, watching film after film until scenes and images blur and merge forging their own reality within her shifting states of sleep and waking. She becomes an observer of life real and imagined, distilling events on the screen and on the street into a collection of remembered private histories.

The effect of the monologue is palpable; I felt privy to the details of many lives, but also aware of a greater universality and humanity. The intimacy of Joanna Rosenfeld’s performance provoked uncertainty as to whether I was expected to answer the woman’s questions when her eyes met mine with their steady gaze, or not. I didn’t. If I did answer her questions, if there had been a dialogue, a close-up between character and audience, then perhaps she would have been less alone?

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-2
p. 24