Chet Baker, Love, directed by Joshua Lucas, was performed on Wednesday January 22 as part of the From Devon With Love Festival.
Currently playing at the Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter, Chet Baker, Love is possibly one of the most unorthodox and intriguing plays I have ever seen. Bringing a whole new level to the term ‘play’, it follows the journey of the female protagonist’s unique and, for lack of a better work, mental love affair with ‘the one that got away’.
Sitting in a small room, feeling unnervingly intimate with the main (and only) performer, we gained an access in to her life and her most personal thoughts and feelings as if we were friends rather than paying customers. Though intense, it was incredibly interesting to watch someone pour their heart out in front of a group of slightly bemused strangers.
The performer and writer, Kolbrun Sigfusdottir (or Kol, to make things easier) was excellent on stage and managed to retain my interest, even if most of the time it was because of the fact that she swore like a trooper throughout. I have to commend her for her bravery: most people wouldn’t feel comfortable admitting to the time that they woke up hungover without pants on, or when they got ridiculously stoned at sixteen.
Despite baring all, Kol gained the upper hand at the end of the play when she brutally inceptioned us all by questioning whether any of it was actually real. Certainly, Kol’s tale seemed far-fetched and unbelievable at times, but there was also something incredibly real about her story and performance.
Far from a theatrical masterpiece, Kol herself admitted that she was aware that she was really just rambling about her love life to us, ‘Chet Baker, Love’ is nevertheless a sweet, emotional and surprisingly funny play. While definitely not to everyone’s taste (my emotionally dense housemate was trying not to crack up at the end) I would personally recommend this as a very heartfelt and thoughtful play.
Kolbrun Sigfusdottir is the artistic director at Brite Theatre, visit her website here.
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