Broadway/ West End veteran Timothy Quinlan presents short film Five Lock Down as part of the Online Festival for theSpaceUK. Conceived, produced, performed and edited by Mr Quinlan himself, this one-man operation is a substitution for his scheduled appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe with alternative solo show ‘All My Stupid Jobs’.
Five Lock Down introduces us to five very different individuals. Sam is trapped in the same house as his ex-wife; Scott is a newly unemployed Broadway wig master; Phillip is almost retired from violin instructing; Sully the State Senator mistakenly supports a protest video on social media; and finally there’s Steve the businessman, whose extra-marital affair will just have to wait. We get to learn just a little more about each of them as they journey through the all-too-familiar rules and restrictions of lockdown.
The various characters and narratives rather accurately highlight the lockdown experiences and challenges many of us will have endured. From learning musical instruments to spending excessive amounts of time in unwanted company, there’s likely to be something we can all relate to. Whilst a certain amount of concentration is required to keep track of the numerous characters and storylines, it’s worth it to capture the brief yet touching moments of humour and hope, as well as sadness and pain.
Timothy Quinlan demonstrates admirable versatility through his delivery of five contrasting characters. Although simple, his editing has been clearly considered and contributes to the story portrayal. However, for the particularly enthusiastic theatre viewer it may feel a little lacking; there can be a fine line between leaving the audience wanting more and being too sparse.
Given the concept, Five Lock Down is maybe not the most recommended option if you’re looking for a theatrical distraction from recent events. Nonetheless, it’s relatable, entertaining, and, at thirteen minutes long, an appreciated bite-size portion of theatre for those of us missing the Edinburgh Fringe this year.