“Right Now” is a work written by Catherine-Anne Toupin and translated by Chris Campbell. It’s a slippery yet tightly wound work that paints in subversive strokes; a minimal tale between neighbours, it plays out in a crisp, modern, charcoal-colored interior that is as non-descript as it is familiar. There has been past trauma that has led these characters’ paths to cross, but what form this event actually took is never quite understood. This is the kind of work which centers more on the underlying threads that pull, and on that which is unsaid, to form a base and be employed as the mechanisms that propels the narrative forward.

All of the ensemble give incredibly strong performances; there is warmth and and a sense of understanding, fun and connection here. Olga Makeeva, in the role of Juliette, however, steals the show: her portrayal of the nosy mother next door, is at once creepy and delightful. Director Katy Maudlin has done well, her input here has made for a lively work.  After their debut with Red Stitch in HIR, Harvey Zielinski makes an interesting addition to the creative team in the role of assistant director; their continued involvement with the company should prove an interesting journey to watch.

All though the sinister undertones of this work are somewhat hampered by its humor, this doesn’t detract from the work as a whole, though when we are promised a thriller we need to, at least once, feel goosebumps rising on our skin. Perhaps this could also be a direct outcome of advancements in technology; how work of the same ilk, but made for screen, are now loaded with so many whizz-bang effects, all in aid of evoking fear in the viewer. In direct comparison, theatre perhaps comes off as somewhat of a poor cousin. But theatre is live, it’s palpable, it changes from night to night, and that is its power and its magnetism. “Right Now” is true theatre and a cracking example of such; it plays out in real time and though there are no post editing effects at hand, it is incredibly engaging.

Escaping the confines of genre, what it boils down to is that this work is quality. In its short, 75 minute length, it provides escapism and light reprieve from the goings on, our daily routine – for theatre and art are, sometimes, best and most beautiful when their intentions, like here, only wish to promise an experience and are not out to push an agenda. “Right Now” is currently playing at Red Stitch.

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