BY KATHRYN PIERCE
In collaboration with @SomewhereEDI
[star rating =4/5]
Blink, from Squabbling House Theatre, is the story of two parallel lives, Sophie (LIDDIE HARPER) and Esther (ANGEL LLOYD), brought together through coincidence and through a mutual craving and deep-seated need to belong, and be visible in the world. With shared experiences of loss and isolation, this unusual lesbian love story combines a narrative tackling the loneliness of living online, and the struggle to find intimacy and human connection in a world dominated by screens. Two intertwined parallel lives spill out of the virtual world into the real world, with a time-delay, and with life-changing consequences.
I recognised a dynamic of co-dependency which is common in lesbian relationships where there is an intensity of emotion, and a need to express love in the nurturing ways we are taught as females.
What this story shows, is how it is possible to be more trapped in a relationship in the real world, than one which exists in pixels within a small screen, and the story’s voyeurism element explored a desire to remain in control and manage the very real risks attached to actual human connection. Maybe sometimes the screen is a safer place, and, as Sophie puts it, “love is what you want it to be”.
Blink is a two-header, with fine performances from the female leads, both very comfortable with their surroundings and offering credible, genuine, relatable well-defined characters. I really liked the fact that their LGBT sexuality wasn’t an explicit part of the story, instead simply intrinsic to the characters’ identities. Though the script relies very heavily on exposition, and I definitely wanted more show than tell, it is very well-crafted, produced (THOMAS LEADBEATER) and directed (AMY NORIKO WARD).
A friend once told me that people in your life are with you for a reason, a season or a lifetime, and in this case, we’re not sure until the end which path this story will take. It’s a real gem of a play that tackles some interesting questions in an intelligent way, and leaves you appreciating how hard it is to find real love in a virtual world, especially if you’re LGBT, an introvert, an eccentric, or even all three.
Blink is only on for another four dates, so make sure you catch it.