SAT 7TH JUNE
Following the run-away success of last year’s #Gunsh0w, writer/performer Connor Macleod and director Charlotte Claydon reteam to bring us the highly original Queue, a one-man power performance that explores relationships, jealousy, regret and solitude. The entire runtime feels like a verbal game of keepie-uppie, with Macleod’s irritated protagonist expertly balancing the thunderstorm of unfolding emotions.
An unusual concept (a tourist invites us into his stream-of-conscience whilst queueing at an airport), the writing is sharp and direct, witty enough to pull us in whilst maintaining a distance that grows and diminishes when needs be. Macleod’s performance is reminiscent of a young Johnny Depp, inhabiting the stage and making great use of his body whilst poetry rolls naturally from his lips. Whether he’s discussing past trauma, the concept of flying fish or a fantasy life and home, there’s a fondness for wordplay and performing unspoken thoughts that makes you both want to write your own monologue, and then tear it up in shame as it can’t possibly hope to match.
Claydon’s direction is expert in its minimalism, with the lonely prop suitcase marking the intense isolation created by the queue. Special note should also be given to the light and sound design, which change subtly enough to never intrude, but add a powerful component to the tale being told. In truth, this is raw, vulnerable theatre, the sort that we should be encouraging more of and allowing to thrive alongside binge-worthy Netflix series and mammoth franchises in the cinemas. Occasionally, we need a touch of raw humanity to bring us back down and remind us, there’s are miracles and grandeur to be found in an ordinary man’s thoughts, not just amongst superheroes or in a galaxy far, far away…