It’s said that there are six degrees of separation. We’ve all seen it – the mutual Facebook friend we share with a complete stranger or the guy at speed dating who went to uni with your cousin. The modern world is small and it’s getting more difficult to hide things.
Hidden is a story of six characters who are all vaguely connected, and who all have things to hide. You could argue that it’s a sort of darker, less romantic version of Love Actually, but that’s not really a fair comparison.
Writers Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers each take on the role of three of the six characters, with nothing more than a costume tweak and accent change to identify them. Props are all jumbled together on shelves and the set is nonchalantly flipped and moved. But it works.
It’s hard to believe that Lindsay and Carruthers have not been writing together for years as the flow of the piece and their complete ease with each other is remarkable. The piece is not only well-observed, but well-written, especially as we can really relate to a lot of the situations… How many of us have angrily typed an abusive email to a colleague, only to delete and never send it? Or given nicknames to the people we see on the train every morning?
Accents are accurate and really help the audience to to recognise each character. Lindsay really loses herself in each part, although it’s quite obvious that Claire the Asda worker from Glasgow is her favourite; she attacks this role with far more gusto than the others, but her performance is consistent.
Typically I was the audience member that Carruthers chose to startle at the beginning of the performance, but as I wasn’t expecting it, I was completely taken in and he actually made me feel involved in the action during the first scene.
The perfect length at just over an hour, Hidden is a unique piece of theatre that is clever, amusing and thought-provoking.
Hidden plays at the Cockpit Theatre until 12 April 2014.
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes