On the stage are the four iconic chairs that let you know you are entering the Feel universe. In this, Proforca are doing something really interesting in building on the world of the original well-received play not by expanding the lives of the original characters but by bringing in new people to expand on the themes of the original play
Feel More is a series of seven monologues about our personal relationships and how they shape and undo us. From parents to lovers to friends, the important people in our lives play an outsized role not just in the way that we move through the world, but also how we see ourselves in it. It is through their eyes that we come to understand ourselves.
From flirting to dancing to death, all human love is here. It’s all laid out in well written snappy segments that last around 15 minutes each. Each one tells a tale – not a whole tale, but a snapshot – about a moment of love, crisis, breakthrough, friendship or acceptance. They are bleak, they are hopeful, they are amusing and they are heartbreaking and my God are they relatable. Too many times I found myself wondering if someone hadn’t been eaves dropping on my conversations on the tube as there was far too much me in there. I felt very seen.
That’s the point of Feel More. It reminds us that though our pains and joys feel unique to us, the experiences are not. The universality of these pains is real. This truth is not delivered in a heavy handed way, but with a deftness that makes us mist up in recognition even as we grimace in remembrance.
The staging – as with Feel itself is pretty sparse. The chairs largely unused, loom as a presence beyond the action of the play. Each actor in each monologue has a few props – a cup of tea, a drip, a scarf and all become integral to the story they are telling, but mostly the black box of the Lion and Unicorn becomes a dark background illuminated only by the actors and their stories.
For me, these monologues aren’t quite as moving as the original play. There were many of them and I found I occasionally wanted to hear more from fewer people but that make me sound more critical than I mean to because the truth is that I loved the original play a great deal, so this falling only slightly short still means it’s a piece of excellent and high quality theatre.
If you haven’t been introduced to the Feel universe yet, this is a great primer. A wander through what it means to love and be loved in all the ways we think of that concept.
Feel More is on until 4 & 5 April 2020 https://www.thelionandunicorntheatre.com/whats-on#/event/feel-more-2020