It is not a dilemma I have ever faced, but what would you do if you found yourself running six hours early to interview Lulu? The decision taken by Daily Mail hack Rachel in Some Kind Of Bliss is to walk from London Bridge to the Scottish singer’s Greenwich home. Matthew Amer was at the first night to share in the eventful stroll.
And an eventful stroll it certainly is, as it contains drugs, barely legal sex, mugging and ice-cream van hijack. But, as Rachel strolls past landmarks she had known as a child, the wander through London triggers a wandering through her thoughts and memories, about her uncle Steve – lead singer of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Croydon – her time at university, and her current love life.
As Rachel describes her journey, Samuel Adamson’s words sound like a love letter to London, the vagaries and details of the Thames pathway sparkle like sequins in the low winter sun. The shattered timeline of his piece, which hops through events in Rachel’s life without a care for chronology, captures perfectly the random thought processes into which the mind slips while ambling.
Lucy Briers, for whom the play was written, exuberantly and energetically invites the audience inside Rachel’s mind as it flits forward and backwards in time, switching characters and age with endearing ease, and covering every square inch of the – admittedly small – Trafalgar Studio 2.
The piece is also packed with cultural references triggered by places or thoughts. Bowie, key to Rachel’s younger life, is a reoccurring theme in Richard Hammerton’s sound, with Rocky Horror and Looney Tunes thrown in to help create the inner workings of Rachel’s mind.
In barely more than one hour, Some Kind Of Bliss delivers both a tale of misadventure along with a biography of a journalist wondering what drove her to leave home six hours before she needs to.
Some Kind Of Bliss plays at the Trafalgar Studio 2 until 15 December.