A group of strangers are summoned by a mysterious letter to a feast. Three older women are questioned about the disappearance of the host of a TV gameshow on which they have all appeared. But are the women quite what they seem?
There’s an awful lot to love in the three TWENTY TWENTY films, available on the Young Vic website, and the result of a year-long participatory project made with local agencies and some of the UK’s most exciting writers and directors. The trio of films are full of joy and kindness and each one has a ticklish sense of humour and a touch of the surreal.
There is a centred quietness about Nessah Muthy’s Tapestry, made with community participants from Certitude, a charity focusing on supporting those with learning difficulties and mental health issues. Telling of a community choir preparing for a competition, the piece—directed by Audrey Sheffield-- offers glimpses into glowing inner lives and also charts the delicate threads of growing friendship. It is unflashy and true.
Behind the scenes of Tapestry. Photo by Anthony Lee.
Tolani Shoneye’s Even at Our Age, made with those supported by Blackfriars Settlement, and directed by Jade Lewis, is lots of fun as three women take back the power that is due to them, and rekindle the sense of home and heritage that existing hierarchical patriarchal structures deny.
You probably know writer Jasmine Lee-Jones and director Milli Bhatia from their Royal Court hit, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, and here, working with participants from Thames Reach, a support charity for homelessness, they spin a dreamy yarn in which everyday life is transformed into something stranger, touched by a moonstruck madness.
Look at the Young Vic website and it says that the theatre is currently closed. But the TWENTY TWENTY films are a reminder that’s not quite true. During the pandemic many theatres, including the Young Vic, have been continuing to work with and within their communities. TWENTY TWENTY demonstrates that participatory work is just as deserving of its patch of digital sunlight as all the starry Uncle Vanyas or big-name musicals.
Cover Image: Behind the scenes of Even at Our Age. Photo by Anthony Lee.