I very nearly walked passed the Alphabetti Theatre. Had I not assumed that this would be the case, and been looking out for it with extreme care, I probably would have. It is a wonderful fringe space, with a tiny bar, bookshop, and stage. I had been excited to visit, largely because of the allusion to Alphabetti Spaghetti- a childhood favourite. Whether Heinz was the inspiration for the name is unclear but the whole place got cooler by the minute, something to be said considering this super cool starting point.
The play itself was a comedy about the communication age. An elderly wildlife poet riles against technology, while his daughter aspires to explore the world. A woman seeking to install a telegraph pole has a crises of conscience and a cabby tries to befriend all.
The play highlighted the issues we all have with communication, be it an incomprehensible poem or weak chat up line, but showed the rewards we can reap if we have the patience to persevere.
The play made me think about the assumptions we make when meeting strangers, and reminded me that the spontaneous communication we never trust can be innocent. It reminded me of arriving in Newcastle after living in London- learning that being approached in the street was not a threat took a little adjustment. Scenes where the well-meaning cab driver was threatened to be impaled with various implements were amusing but also a little too relatable.
Moving with the times can be tricky. If it were possible to overdose on nostalgia I would have died years ago – I hate technology and would certainly love to live in the house of the poet, a remote idyll detached from the world of technology. The play made the reassuring point that it can be possible to strike a balance between moving with the changing world while holding on to aspects of the past.