Utilising immersive theatre to the hilt, writer/actor Elina Alminas has fashioned a play that takes an unflinching look at woman in the throes of ‘having an emotional episode’. Left at the marriage altar for the third time in a row by three different grooms, Alminas’ character undergoes a breakthrough – a painful epiphany as she interrogates the audience who are all for the purposes of the show simulacrum of friends and relatives.
Originally written as a response and rejection of the stereotypical roles that are offered (especially to younger woman) in theatre, the bride through her moments of anger and pain strips away ‘acceptable behaviour’ to unearth an inner vulnerability – her loneliness and society’s expectations she’s internalised regarding marriage as the be-all and end-all of feminine identity.
As previously stated, one of the greatest assets of the play is the interaction between Alminas and the audience. Asides from representing her character’s friends and family in the nominal sense, people who Alminas talks to throughout the performance take on the roles of people close to her fiancé Johnny and receive a barrage of questions (and possible accusations!) about his whereabouts. To some degree Alminas incorporates the audience’s actual responses to LAURA‘s narrative, but the play is flexible enough to take on board anything and everything that’s said, and still reach certain milestones on the bride’s emotional journey.
There aren’t many plays where female characters are allowed to be at their ‘worst’ and revel in the ‘darker’ emotions – especially in an immersive capacity – but Alminas in choosing step aside from the sorts of roles she previously been offered, has found her ‘voice’, one that won’t go away quietly…
LAURA ran at the Bread & Roses Theatre on 7th, 8th and 10th December 2016