Lonely people everywhere

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.


When I first moved to London, my new flatmates and I held a housewarming party. I invited everyone I knew in the city. But the morning after, I totted up the number of guests of mine that had shown up: two. Thankfully, my other flatmates’ had more than made up the numbers with their own friends. I prayed that they hadn’t noticed the marked absence of a crowd of my friends.

Darkness collides with hilarity in this show and that’s no accident. “I hate a maudlin energy around certain subjects because I don’t personally believe it helps and the more you can do with laughter the better,” Bea said.

There isn’t the faintest hint of a maudlin energy around the topic of loneliness in This Way Up, nor is it presented as some dramatic obstacle that must be surmounted. The loneliness is a low hum in the background. If you know the tune, you’ll recognise it immediately.

Loneliness is a low hum in the background. If you know the tune, you’ll recognise it.
It’s in Aine’s young student Étienne’s new life with his dad, with whom he doesn’t have a connection, following the death of his mum. It’s in Shona’s relationship with her partner Vish. It’s in Shona and Aine’s mother’s life too. Loneliness is part of all the characters’ lived experiences in different ways, too. Bea told the Guardian when she started writing the characters she’d think “what’s their loneliness.”

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