Review: Always Right There, RADA Festival

As the third headline show in the RADA Festival, Always Right There doesn’t quite hit the mark despite the best of intentions

“Had he really anything really wrong at all?”

It is always tricky to respond to a piece that doesn’t quite work for you. And when it is one that is as suffused in the #MeToo movement as Natalia Rossetti’s Always Right There is, it is even more so, I’m a cis man as well FFS. So how to step around such an issue? As sensitively as possible and acknowledging any inherent bias.

As the third of the headline shows at this year’s RADA Festival, it is clear that much work has gone into the show. Rossetti’s focus is on sexual harassment, at the level that seemingly permeates every level of society and yet is not deemed serious enough (for the most part) to be worth reporting. These are delivered in vignettes from the participants of a spin class and broken up by slices of everyday dialogue between two millenial flatmates.

Samara Gannon’s production uses a split-screen style to switch easily between the two. And the intent is clear, demonstrating the ways in which overt harassment becomes internalised, accommodated, made unexceptional as part of everyday life. But in its execution, the combination never quite clicked for me. Even at this length, it felt overlong, repetitious as it underscored and underscored its points rather than advancing argument or insight.

A tendency towards the didactic doesn’t help, dialogue which lectures rather than developed into something more dramatic. At the moment, the vital importance of what is being said is at risk of being lost in the noise of a production that isn’t clear enough about what it is trying to achieve.

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