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SCENE IT: DOUBLE STAR, a lonely relationship explored

Barbara Loots

 

DOUBLE STAR, currently onstage at the Baxter's Masambe Theatre is a new play by Andi Colombo. It follows the story of two seemingly star-crossed twenty-something lovers who find each other after a (perhaps) chance meeting just before the world shut down in March 2020.

Watching the opening night performance of DOUBLE STAR, Karen Zoid's song 'Small Room' kept playing in my head as the background setting to the relationship evolution that was playing out in front of me:


"… I'll get stuck in a small room with you

Any day, any day

I'll get stuck in a small room with you

Any day, any day


… How I know you

How I'd Show You

...


...Well, I wish I would say what I really mean

But the words arrange me in between

If you could read my mind

If you could read my soul

I'd never have to let you know

I'd never have to let you know


… I'll be your friend forever, boy

Even when we act so clever, boy

I'll be your friend forever, boy

Even when we act so clever, boy..."


DOUBLE STAR, introduces the audience to Jess and Lu at different stages of their relationship, while in the end leaving it up to the audience to decide how this "once upon a time" tale concludes.


Having found each other in the anxiety enduring pre covid reality that is app-driven match-ups, these two competitive writers put their fledgling fragile relationship to the test while stuck in limbo in a small apartment –falling prey to the deception that they are moving forward while the world outside has pressed a panicked pause. Dealing with their different perspectives of loss and the confusing reality of feeling lonely even when being with someone you love, the audience is treated to glimpses of their relationship through a nonlinear narrative lens.


In tone, DOUBLE STAR, leans into the rather darling side of a rom-com: Our leading man (Aidan Scott) looks to be channeling Hugh Grant of the Nottinghill-style mumbling charmer, while our leading lady (Mamello Maketha) in answer reveals some empowered, emotionally-charged sass.


Ultimately, this play sees two souls passing each other in the empty spaces that form between them in their 'small room' that stands as a metaphor for the absence of everyday mundane (yet supremely grounding) reality.


With this being the first staging of this pandemic-inspired tragic romance, it could perhaps develop some more to be a scene or so shorter: This would possibly give the final moment a bit more of a build-up punch, considering the non-linear arch of it all that draws the audience into a false sense of conclusion on a few occasions. Though perhaps these false moments of resolution are intentional, as it invites the audience to share in the awkward moments that impact the relationship at the centre of it all. What is certain is that DOUBLE STAR in its current format has its endearing moments of honest reflection balanced with giggle-inducing banter.


This production has a very short run, so you only have until 8 November 2022 to see DOUBLE STAR at the Baxter's Masambe Thearte. Tickets are available online via Webtickets.

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