NOT many plays can boast a cast of just three but Parallel is one of them. It’s also a play that can boast no set roles for its actors, it is a constantly changing piece of theatre.
Hope Mill Theatre has a cosy, homely vibe that puts the audience at rest and ready to watch the play. The intimate setting that seated around 60 people was set out in an unusual way.
The set was in the middle of the room, with the seats on the outside, in a rectangle.
It was a very basic set, with the whole play being set on a grotty railway platform, which included nothing more than some fake walls and a vending machine.
something called Parallel at Hope Mill theatre, was v good. More of a fringe theatre thing.
— Louise Cheese (@cheese_fancier) November 2, 2016
Parallel is based around homelessness and the key themes and issues that surround this problem.
It is refreshing to see something that isn’t afraid to tackle this issue as well as adding humour to it, adding friendship to it and making it something that can be related to by anyone, not just someone who’s been in that situation before.
The play is set around three female characters: Beth, who has wandered onto the platform for some “peace and quiet,” C, who is homeless and calls the station her “pad” and Anna, the city worker who things are just getting on top of.
One by one they meet on the platform, and slowly begin to open up to each other and the audience, allowing us to understand what choices have brought them together.
The play emphasises that everybody has a choice in their lives, and that the choices we make decide where we end up.
— Helena Leonard (@helena_leonard) October 27, 2016
Beth is the main character in the play, the one that pushes the plot forward and the one that makes the audience laugh and engage the most.
In a way she seems the most relatable one out of the three, making herself what could be seen as intentionally homeless but though a situation that could happen to anyone.
Anna’s character symbolises that even though her life seems to be sorted; nice job, nice house, happy relationship, not everything is as it seems.
Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side and others shouldn’t be be judged on their outer exterior.
C is a typical “tramp” as she’s called in the play.
She encompasses what society associates with homeless people and she is the one who really brings the issues with homelessness to the forefront of the play.
It’s a very visual piece, with lots of the story being communicated to the audience using facial expression rather than speech, but when the three are talking to each other.
— AboutManchester (@AboutMcr) October 31, 2016
It’s definitely not suitable for children with the word “f**k” or variations of it probably being the word used the most in the whole play.
Overall Parallel is a thought provoking play that can be enjoyed by everyone (as long as you don’t mind swearing and smoking,)
The writer Laura Lindsay (who is also one of the actors) has really put a lot of thought into how the set out the play in a way that it can make the audience want to laugh and cry at the same time.
Parallel runs in the Hope Mill Theatre till the 5th of November. Tickets can be purchased here.
By Misha Solanki