By Cesilia Oriana Trecaquista
I arrive at the Midlands Arts Centre to find the place busier than I had had seen it in some time; the bar and surrounding areas were full of loud, overzealous drama students that seemed to be fighting to be heard over each other. This continued as we entered into the sold out theatre.
Unsure of what to expect from Tin Box Theatres’ production of ‘Not Known At This Address’; the promotional posters and flyers gave very little away (ED – as well as a frustratingly uninformative video trailer), the initial set consisted of lots of boxes of varying sizes; all laid out on a simply, but effectively, lit stage.
We are introduced to Martin, a post office worker, who quickly reveals himself as a kleptomaniac loner who ‘collects’ handwritten letters in his makeshift sorting office at home. Martin enjoys the nostalgia of a handwritten letter and romanticises about the content.
The melancholy story retrospectively describes both the sadness of others through their correspondence, and Martin’s lost love. It plays out through a series of monologues given by the cast, who are concealed behind masks and the many boxes on stage.
Live music came from another cast member; who sang and played beautiful, original compositions. Obscured by a box, mask or the darkness of a partially unlit stage, her pitch perfect tones made it hard to decipher whether it was live or pre-recorded.
The story ends rather abruptly and ambiguously, posing questions and leaving myself and the two loud drama students sat beside me wanting more.
But the simplicity of the stage set up, and the small but perfectly sufficient cast (who all added to the production, the collaborator I spoke to having made some of the masks) fully engrossed me in the storytelling; leaving me needing nothing more than what was provided.
Tin Box Theatre tour ‘Not Known At This Address’ later this year. For more information about this production, and the wider company, visit http://www.tinboxtheatre.co.uk/
For more on MAC, visit http://www.macarts.co.uk/