Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
On Wednesday evening a friend and I visited The Lowry theatre in Salford, Manchester to watch Meek written by Penelope Skinner. Meek is a Headlong production in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
The play is set in a dystopian society where women’s freedoms have been dramatically diminished. We are introduced to Irene, played by Shvorne Marks, who has been imprisoned on an, as yet, unknown charge. Through conversations with her friend Anna, played by Scarlett Brookes, we begin to learn of some of restrictions placed upon women and the importance of religion within this society becomes glaringly obvious. Later in the play we begin to realise Irene’s situation is much more serious than originally thought as we meet her lawyer Gudrun, played by Amanda Wright.
Throughout the course of the play we learn that Irene is a songwriter and that is why she has been imprisoned. We discover that her incarceration has generated global interest. Irene is very interested in her new social media presence and becomes obsessed with how many likes and dislikes her creative work garners on social media. This was an interesting reflection of the society we currently live in where often a person is measured by their social media persona and self worth is reliant upon online likes.
As the play continues we learn more about Irene’s relationships and her friendship with Anna. We begin to realise that their friendship isn’t necessarily all it originally seems. Throughout the play the audience is never directly told of what has happened to this society or friendship that has led to the current situation we are faced with. Rather the audience is a fly on the wall piecing together the information they pick up from conversations between the three women. I really enjoyed this as it gave the audience an opportunity to fill in the gaps themselves.
Despite being only an hour long this was an extremely interesting and thought provoking play that examines many themes surrounding religion, women’s rights, social media and above all relationships and friendships.
Tickets cost £18.50 (booking fees may apply).
Meek is at The Lowry in Manchester from 19-22 September 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000