As part of the Hope At Home online series (which is funded by the London Community Response Fund), the Hope Theatre has commissioned five monologues for an online-based project. Upon viewing the weekly short films, viewers are encouraged to donate what they can to keep the Hope Theatre running in the future.
The second in the series, Where The Socks Go (which is written by Somebody Jones and directed by Jeremiah Tomolawi) is a light-hearted take on the perennial problem of missing footwear.
Max (Meesha Turner) has an important Zoom interview lined up, but she finds as she’s getting ready that she mostly has odd socks. Of course, it’s extremely unlikely that her interviewer will see or ever want to see her feet, but the odd sock conundrum puts Max in a funk at the worst possible time. So why do socks ‘go walkabouts’?
Turner as Max walks a fine between treating the subject ‘seriously’ and having fun with the possibilities behind this ‘global phenomenon’. But if this all seems a bit ‘silly’, we find out the reason why this particualr Zoom interview is important to Max. Having been in a job that required working all hours and a boss who micromanaged her every minute, Max reached breaking point and left without another role to go to. For Max it’s a daunting and sobering thought that outside the work environment, she has no real friends…
The majority of the monologue is of a ‘surreal’ nature, blending observations with absurdist scenarios and conclusions. One such case is Max’s theories on why socks go missing. These include ex-boyfriends who steal single socks to drive her mad, a devolution in people’s perception of hues of colour and the most ‘likely’ of all, the washing machine is ‘eating them’.
I found the ‘conversations’ with the washing machine particularly amusing, as it suggests (very much a Philip K Dick idea!) that household objects are watching us.
The editing of the footage plays a big part in why this short film works, but obviously Turner’s performance, Jones’ writing and everyone else involved all prove the final result is greater than the sum of their parts.
And I learnt what the collective word is for a group of socks – a salmagundi. Who knew?
© Michael Davis 2020
Hope At Home online series
MY FATHER’S SHED by Henry Egar – released Mon 23 Nov until Sun 29 Nov
WHERE THE SOCKS GO by Somebody Jones – released Mon 30 Nov until Sun 6 Dec
A MOMENTS PEACE by Natasha Santos – released Mon 7 Dec until Sun 13 Dec
ALMOST THERE by Michael Head – released Mon 14 Dec until Sun 20 Dec
21 ROUND FOR CHRISTMAS by Matt Ballantyne & Toby Hampton – released Mon 21 Dec until Sun 3 Jan