A small pub theatre seemed the perfect setting for E. C. Mason’s play Everything Today is the Same, with the premise being three girls locked in a room in a post-apocalyptic world. The closeness of the theatre was immersive, as if you too were trapped inside and questioning all that was real.
The play was well performed, as each character brought a different energy to the claustrophobic dynamic. The characters developed throughout with a reversal of expectations in different situations: the dominant one breaks down and cries; the innocent one demands attention, and each character cycles through strong feelings over what in the normal world would be small dilemmas.
The pace was rapid as they navigated daily problems of their environment: a blocked toilet, a broken chair, a limited supply of food, domestic tensions between three women. While this was effective, there were times where it felt forced and did not flow as naturally as it could have. The day was being compressed into one hour with little breathing room between episodes to understand or process the significance of what just occurred. The use of tech and multimedia was a subtle nod to today’s digital age, but often distracted the audience from the domestic tension. Its absence would have emphasised the stark emotions, especially with the backdrop of an unknown outside world.
When first confronted with the concept of the play—three girls each apparently suffering memory loss are locked in a —several questions immediately spring to mind: where do they get their food? Where do they get the water to wash their clothes? How did they get there in the first place? If they have no memories, where did they learn what they know? However, few of these very basic questions are answered. Yet one area well explored was sex. The three women choose to play the ‘shiver game’ and have a humorous conversation about which gets to ‘shiver’ (orgasm), which is perhaps a reference to universal relationship dynamics. The play is pitched as a ‘dark political comedy’, however, other than occasional oblique references, such as a world of equality where black and white are of the same value, it is hard to see any dark political overtones. And any allusions these issues were just too subtle to grasp.
Everything Today is the Same is an original look at the relationship between three naïve girls, trapped in a claustrophobic room in a post-apocalyptic world, yet, overall, it seemed just a little too simplistic; they fight, they make up, they want to escape – it’s a cyclical narrative. With no purpose, not even a hint of what exists beyond the four walls of the room, perhaps the drama was to be found between the characters.
Edited by Evangeline Stanford, Digital Editor