FRINGE REVIEW: Alone Outside
In Greek, 'nostalgia' literally means 'the pain from an old wound'. We can physically remove ourselves from that which ails us, however there will be an aspect of the experience that always remains with us. For Daphne, Alone Outside’s protagonist, her 'old wound' resonates from her home town. She once swore that she would leave this town, the people that inhabit it and the experiences she had there in her past. Alas, she finds herself habitually returning, despite the pains from her past being ever present. Daphne slowly finds that nostalgia is a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. The story picks up ten years after Daphne’s initial pilgrimage.
Alone Outside is a one woman show; the role of Daphne is brilliantly depicted by Jo Morris. You often find yourself forgetting that there are no other actors on the stage, as the way Morris relays and reacts to the other characters is so genuinely visceral. As the narrative progresses, the reasons for Daphne’s sudden departure are slowly teased.
The duration plays out much like a soliloquy, with Daphne dictating to us what is happening in a past continuous tense. This deeply personal format aids in creating suspense and intrigue, as Daphne only chooses to trickle one small morsel of information at a time, until all the pieces of the puzzle align in the eventual climax.
The writing of Liz Newell organically ebbs and flows, juxtaposing from moments of comedy to intense drama. The restraint she exhibits in her writing, stage design, and her ability to create intimate character arcs is a skill that has clearly been developed with great care.
Alone Outside is a fine performance, and any accolades it receives are completely justified. There are only two sessions remaining of the performance, the last of which being this Saturday night. I implore you to see a performance of Alone Outside.