LOUD // in Babel
"I’d spent my life being – told and shown and – and believing, even, that sex was always rape... but that night – those films – changed everything."
The law states no man and woman can be alone together. But what happens when you fall in love?
theSpace @ Niddry St. (Upper): August 2017
Toby Waterworth: Thomas Payne
Cate Ash: Isla Wrenley
Director / Writer: Anastasia Bruce-Jones
Producer: Thomas Warwick / Gaia Lambert
Technician: Laura Wells
Publicity: Lewis Scott
Assistant Director: Ruby Morris
It is 2057 and the world’s population has reached 10 billion. To prevent unsanctioned births, British law states that no male and female can be alone together in a private place. In an abandoned house, on the edge of town, Thomas and Isla break away from the rest of the party...
An abandoned house on the outskirts of Bristol. A group of young, would-be revolutionaries break in to start fires and drink liquid steel. The party quickly becomes raucous.
Upstairs, Thomas finds an old bedroom, dusty but with shafts of evening light filtering in, and prepares a surprise for his girlfriend, Isla; their first proper date, alone. A heart-warming love story begins; two young people held apart by a law which unjustly assumes the sexuality of heterosexual relationships finally live out the most intimate and fragile of human interactions – they discover what is like to be alone with the person you love.
As they talk – about the city, about university, about their families and, seemingly constantly, about the way their lives have been affected by the new law – they are able to begin revealing the depth of their feelings for each other.
But romantic excitement turns to recklessness for Thomas as they steel themselves with alcohol. The political becomes entangled with the private once again, as Thomas’s frustration and revolutionary fury build, fuelled by the discovery of a box of photographs which tell a story of a similarly persecuted couple. Thomas’s idea of rebellion, sexual intercourse, in a world where even a father and daughter can’t be alone together, isn’t Isla’s.
LOUD // in Babel, an original piece of dystopia from Colby Quinn, is a powerful insight into the dangers of a voice going unheard. Through the funny, touching and fast-paced dialogue of the two would-be lovers, the play challenges our perceptions of freedom of speech, consent and the implications of silencing a voice.
The play lives and breathes through its atmosphere of unbearable sexual tension. It offers a brilliant and at times painfully realistic observation of bad early sexual experiences.
Tychy, Fringe Review
We are left peering aghast through a cold fog of politeness and apologies... Despite the grim topic, this final ambiguity is beautifully achieved.
Tychy, Fringe Review
Quinn’s LOUD // in Babel seems huge for a play with only two actors. Full of ideas, it is a thickly told story that is always going off on enjoyable new tangents.