Open Road follows three relationships, each of them compatible, each of them falling apart. Ecce Theatre’s new show gives an insight into predetermined grief, love, and how far we will go for a happy life. The central couple are two women and it was never about that, which was quite refreshing. It was treated exactly the same as all the other relationships on stage.
The naturalism of the show was so close to real life that it often didn’t feel like much had been dramatized. The general premise of the show was that these couples are together because they have similar life spans. Each person is aware of the year of their death. This is a time that could be now but isn’t. It’s the heat of the debates, with secrets and lies revealed as the dinner party continues.
So this dystopian twist was the hook, but it felt half-hearted. The world wasn’t fully realised, and although the characters had ideological debates about it, the fantasy seemed like an afterthought. I love science fiction theatre, but this was underdeveloped in its execution.
I want theatre which challenges me to think differently about my world, myself, my identity. Perhaps this may have worked better with a change of form, exploring how theatre itself reflects the disintegration of our capitalist society. Pretension, I know, but at least it creates debate.