I have a bad feeling about this – House of Blakewell
We took a walk down to the Network Theatre to see House of Blakewells offering of ‘I have a bad feeling about this’.
The Network Theatre has joined forces with The Vaults at Waterloo and is co participating in laying on Londons Biggest Arts Festival.
The Musical follows Alice a newly wed who has recently moved to the posh area of Birkhamstead. Dealing with the daily chores of decision making and worrying what people may think of her choices, we get to delve into her conversations with her friend’ Anxiety’ and what happens through her daily choices and attempts of fitting in and making friends with ‘the group at the table by the window’ at the local pub.
The set is minimalist, a black backdrop with a net of lights, a keyboard, and the duo of actors in Alice Keedwell and Harry Blake.
With no landscape backgrounds Alice Keedwell brings us enthusiasm and worry in the bundle of excitement, joy and anxiousness that she is. Keen to be a better woman, not holding back. We learn of her journey from visiting Waitrose (firstly by going the long way round to avoid the crowds) and being amazed at the space in the aisles to choosing which type of courgette to buy, meeting the AMAZING Sarah – the neighbour she aspires to be and making friends with the rest of the group that sit at the table by the window of her local, coming across ditzy, worrying about what her new found friends think of her every choice or words, attempting to be the perfect party host and her efforts to be included. Alice’s expressions and singing voice are wonderful, appropriate to her every scene and have you rooting for the character to do good.
Holding her back is Harry Blake as her friend ‘Anxiety’ who is a perfect partner in crime, casting doubt at every opportunity, helped along with his keyboard, he helps to set scenes. From questioning her choice of veg, to then reminding her what happens when she tries something new, his tone of voice, dry sense of humour is the perfect accompaniment to portray this condition. Holding her back through the simple fact he is trying to protect her from the world around her, his influence is for all to see, slowly diminishing when Alice starts to feel better in herself and more confident when she realises shes not all bad and that actually some of it is just in her head.
Beautifully acted out taking a condition that many suffer from and turning it into a humorous production which had us all laughing throughout while not losing sight of its effects summed up by the finale that:
Sometimes there’s not a magic happy ending, a problem shared is still a problem but maybe simply sharing it can help, the problem might get lighter, and life might get a bit less shite-er, if we share our vulnerbility who knows, Our lives might get a tiny bit easier, or not, Lets see how it goes!