I am really excited to be posting about this intriguing playscript today, as it is my stop on the blog tour organised by the great people at Renard Press. Special thanks to Will for having me on board.
— Synopsis —
Alice hasn’t been home for a while – for seven years, in fact. But when her little sister Lo tries to take her own life, she has to return to the life she left behind. The change of scenery from London to Norfolk proves quite the culture shock, however, and Alice has to confront what she left behind all those years ago.
The sisters’ relationship hasn’t evolved in Alice’s absence, and when she steps through the door she’s plunged back into the same world she escaped from. Set against Norfolk’s bleak landscapes, but masquerading as childhood nostalgia, Fridge is an all-too-familiar exploration of the broken promises of youth, and a bitter exposition of a generation left behind.
— Review —
As my first playscript review, I truly hope that I have captured enough below to do it justice.
This play is the proof that you don’t need much to make a great story: 3 characters and 1 fridge.
In the wittier of fashions, through references to Disney, tales, music and drinks, Emma transports you back to the 90s and makes you feel nostalgic and certainly in need of escapism.
It’s suffocating, it’s deep and cringey, it’s brilliant.
I read it several times and I just loved discovering new layers, new depth and subtleties after each read.
Lo is struggling with mental illness and depression but has no one to help and support her. She just needs to be loved, and even though Charlie has been the one constant, the anchor, he has always loved Alice.
Alice. She wanted more than this Norfolk life, so she left. She left for London and escaped. She needed it, as much as Lo needed to escape too, even if she tried to do so by very different means.
Alice has had to assume too many different roles: friend, sister, mother. After some reprieve she is now right back in the middle of it all and reminiscing. Nothing has changed, but can it ever? Is there hope that things can get better? You get to embark on the reverie of what once was and what could be.
More importantly: the fridge. What a clever metaphor. The fridge is always there, literally or figuratively depending on the scenes.
It represents so many different things. Sometimes a bus shelter, sometimes a TV, it is so much more than just a prop. As much of a comfort place as it is a prison, it is the key to the whole story. The present, the past and the future, the hiding place and the portal to a different world, a different time, the happiness and the sadness, the escape.
As Emma herself mentioned in an interview, the fridge is there and its meaning left to everyone’s imagination.
Alternating dark and funny, emotional and blunt, the dialogue is well thought through, the protagonists are wonderfully complex, and I have to admit I would really love to see this play!
It took me back to my theater years with my friends, and gosh I miss those days!
I can’t wait for theaters to reopen and to be able to go and enjoy the show.
Out now with Renard Press
Order your copy here: https://renardpress.com/books/fridge-limited-edition-hardback/
About the author – Emma Zadow
Emma Zadow is an actor, playwright and screenwriter from Norfolk. She trained at Rose Bruford College as an actor, and her plays have been performed at the Arcola, the Old Red Lion Theatre, Camden Fringe Festival, Norwich Arts Centre and Pleasance Theatre. Emma is an alumni playwright from the Soho Theatre Writers Lab, and she was shortlisted for the ETPEP Award and Tony Craze Award. A BBC New Creative, her screenplays include the hit short film The Cromer Special and Jigging. Emma now lives in London.
Don’t forget to check out my fellow book bloggers reviews on the tour!
Opinions are my own.