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Baggage Reclaim | Theatre Deli

Baggage Reclaim, which is written and devised by Elissa Nicholson, Olivia Hespe and Rebecca Millar, is an interesting and entertaining play about lost baggage and human relationships. The play chooses to focus on the three airport staff working in baggage reclaim, Sandra (Hespe), Gerri (Millar) and CJ (Nicholson), and how they view their job. The play makes several compelling points about assumptions, judgements and boundaries. 

Sandra and Gerri, who have a finely honed system and strong friendship, find themselves at odds with new employee CJ and must confront truths often dismissed. CJ too finds herself challenged by a completely new environment, whilst still haunted by her past. This is interspersed by an interrogation after an official complaint has been made for unprofessional and borderline illegal behaviour, providing the audience with an ever changing time frame and narrative. 

The three performers have chemistry with each other and perform well together. Nicholson as CJ comes in with a storm, brilliantly portraying a bratty and infuriating young adult. Despite the extreme attitude of the character, Nicholson manages not to make a caricature of CJ with small and often funny mannerisms. Hespe does a fantastic job as the kind hearted but chatty Sandra. Ironically the quiet voice during tense scenes, Hespe has a clear and concrete vision for this character and the audience can connect with her. 

The show's standout performer is Millar as Gerri, a wonderfully mysterious employee who has dedicated both their being and self worth to the job. Described as "a person who isn't really a person" and "absorbed by the job", they're fascinating, yet its their more reserved and morbid dispositions that makes them an incredibly rich character. Millar has a wonderful skill with deadpan humour. 

The show has clearly spent time developing the relationship between Gerri and Sandra, which feels believable and healthy. Yet compromises the relationship between CJ and the other characters. Understandably distrustful, CJ has a clear barrier from the start, yet the rapid digression from mild irritation to intense rage is confusing, especially when compared to the steady relationship between other characters. There are moments her anger is justified, but it begins earlier than necessary and hence doesn't quite add the momentum that's being built throughout the rest of the show. 

The show uses sound and lighting effectively and creatively. The former is used only to create tension in an already intense scene by adding a ticking clock. The latter works tremendously well, yet is innovatively handled by the cast members themselves. Using handheld torches, they not only create a harsh spotlight on themselves, but using hands effectively, create a sense of being overwhelmed and overshadowed by anxiety through simple mechanics. The set design is simple, with two tables and a pile of suitcases. The cast make good use of the props, investigating and interacting with the suitcases. 

Baggage Reclaim is an intriguing watch, with compelling characters and a thrilling want to understand their world further. It is currently playing at the Theatre Deli until 8th June. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review

1 comentario

Oida! Theatre
Oida! Theatre
7 days ago

Thank you so much for coming to see our show! - Oida!

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