Written by Emma Zadow, Fridge, is one of twenty productions taking to the King’s Head Theatre’s Festival 47 stage. Directed by Tonje Wik Olaussen, it tackles family rifts, nostalgia and mental illness with sensitivity and compassion, while laying bare the torment of confronting one’s past.
Alice has travelled from London to her childhood home of Norfolk. It’s the first time she’s been back in seven years, and the reason she has returned now is because her younger sister, Lo, has attempted suicide. She finds her sibling alone, their mother having gone on holiday with the latest boyfriend, and attempts to make amends for leaving without her all those years ago.
Alice meets an old childhood friend, Charlie, and over a bottle of Yazoo and some Bourbon Creams it becomes clear that he has feelings for her, Alice must then balance the budding new relationship with caring for Lo. The serious subject is tinged with moments of humour, particularly in the scenes between Alice and Charlie.
The poetic script incorporates spoken word, alongside original music from Phoebe Robinson which gives the production an ethereal feeling. The spoken word elements sometimes distract from plot development and it takes just a little too long to get to the key points of the story. There’s a risk the audience could lose interest, but it is mitigated by a very strong and raw performance from Mary O’Loan, in the role of Lo.
Fridge is certainly an emotional piece of drama, and has the potential to be a gripping piece of theatre.