• Amy Toledano

CLOUDS presented by Time & Again Theatre Company

What Is It?

Clouds is an original play written by Laura Crow that focuses on a young Englishwoman who yearns to be the first woman to enter an aeroplane race across the country, set in 1913. 

What Is it About?

Our leading lady, Winifred "Freddie" Baxter (played by Laura Crow), is determined to take flying lessons and be the first woman to enter an air race to fly across the country. Aside her own battle, the play sets its scene alongside the suffragette movement, a typical garden party of the time, and the study of clouds. We watch as Freddie struggles with her own demons and overcomes the odds that society has placed against her in order to accomplish her dreams. Aided by her brother Theodore, (played thoughtfully and diligently by Kieran Palmer), Freddie secures an instructor and takes to the skies.

Also on the estate where the lessons take place is an old friend of the Baxter's, Sylvia (played delightfully by Jessica Blamer), who represents the women of the suffragette movement. We also have the older generation represented, played tactfully by Julie Burrow, to show the conflict of the time of women who have accepted their place in society, yet yearning for equality. We feel for Burrow's character as we see her battle with the woman she has become, thanks in part to her husband, and the free spirited woman she used to be. 

In this play, women are rising up. 

How did it make me feel?

While the play has a strong concept, it feels like there are just too many to expand on in the short in a sixty minute run. I would love to see this story expanded so that we do not feel rushed to learn all the background information so quickly. There is a lot of depth to the storylines and yet only touch the surface of them before the show has flown by.

I found myself wanting to know about each of the characters history and really delve into their relationships with one another, as they are very interesting. 

The cast is honest in their portrayal of their characters, which do feel fully developed, however it would be useful to see more of them. 

It is a lovely piece that shares a new side of history that we don't often hear about (a female pilot) with a strong feminist narrative.

Anything Else?

I love the simplicity of the set; only one aeroplane in an upstage corner. This allows for a constant reminder that we, as a society, are always moving forward, while still not-so-subtly reminding us what the play is about. The costumes are perfect and the props are kept to a minimum in order to rely on the characters to bring the story to life. 

Natasha x

Clouds was playing at The Kings head Theatre until the 11th November 2019.

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