Blueleaf Theatre presents ‘That Moment’. A one woman show performed by the very talented Madeleine Gray. The play focuses on Alicia and her struggles to pursue a professional acting career. Just out of Drama school, Alicia embodies the frustrations, loss and isolation that comes when one is trying to chase their dream.
As a struggling actress myself, I become quite personally invested. Writer Dougie Blaxland, certainly hits the nail on the head. However I believe everyone can find a personal connection with this play. Anyone who has pushed themselves to achieve their ambition (in whatever field) knows that the road to success is never easy.
Gray invites us into Alicia’s living room. The experience reminded me of many a therapeutic rant session with a dear friend over a few glasses of wine. She takes us through ‘The Actor’s Guide’, stating ‘you have to play the game, sugar things up or you’ll never survive’ in the soul-destroying, insincere, competitive industry. Alicia is repeatedly disrespected in humorous anecdotes by her successful peers, her agent, the theatre elites, her close friend and even a diabetic, incontinent dog named Titus. She continually bursts out in anger but finishes with ‘well, I don’t say that of course’. Holding enough back to cause a brain aneurism.
Director Marcus Marsh and Gray herself, have put on a marvellously impressive performance. Gray, at one point, orchestrates a dialogue which included as many as seven characters. All with their own voices and physicality carrying out a complicated conversation. Gray rises to the challenge beautifully, managing to hold the clarity and landing the jokes.
Alicia never asks for our sympathy and refuses to fall into a self-indulgent sulk, gaining the respect of the audience. I was nervous with her during her audition, I winced along with her embarrassment, I was disappointed with her drawbacks and I was desperate to see her succeed. Gray didn’t just have the audience on her side, she made us care for her.