Trespass is an original theatre piece conceived, written and produced entirely by the Wonky Spoon Theatre Company, in conjunction with the Little Leeds Fringe. Performed in stage@leeds’ Alec Clegg Room (a smaller, more intimate venue adjunct to the main stage), the more compacted space provided the perfect venue to compliment the shifting claustrophobia and containedness of the play.
The set design and props are purposefully minimalist, consisting only of an armchair, a table, an ashtray, an unplugged phone, a candle and a book. At some point all of these objects come into play and all take on shifting amounts of significance in the characters’ interaction.
The play begins with a woman sitting alone, and we are informed by narrators that she is suffering from a Daily Mail-headline induced agoraphobia and fear of violent crime. Her solitary activity consists of little more than having imaginary conversations over the phone and eating pistachio nuts, until her home is apparently invaded by two burglars.
The cast does an excellent job of adapting the play’s shifting tone. As the Woman, Emily Clarke expresses a sense of melancholic tragedy alongside exasperated panic, while Ashton Gould and Dylan Marsh are able to make ‘burglars’ One and Two in equal parts comedic and threatening. With the central trio all onstage for more or less the entirety of the running time, the shifting power dynamics captivate the interest and lead to moments of comedy, tension and occasionally eerie surrealism. Imaginative use of lighting is effective in lending to this dream-like atmosphere.
The script, by director Joshua Ling, establishes intrigue early on and pulls the audience in through a steady drip of subtle information about characters’ back-stories. Be warned, though; your response to the ending will likely depend on how well you stomach rug-pull twist reveals.
Image: Little Leeds Fringe Festival/ Facebook