Hey guys! So this week, although I’ve been at school, I still found time to watch an event one evening at Hull Library. This event was named ‘Common Lore’ and it was targeted at teenagers. The event was a new, exciting fusion of rap, spoken word, live projections and live electronic music. The unique and relevant new show sees traditional fairy tales and modern day life collide through the performance of one women and her phone. Sophia Hatfield played Scarlett a young library visitor, who transported us on a journey as she reinvented childhood stories from her Nan, tried to make sense of the challenging world we live in today and shape her future route in her own individual way. So in today’s post, I’m going to be reviewing this event and I will grant you with my honest opinion on it.
Scarlett first of all introduced herself and told us that she spent lots of time at her Nan’s house. This lead her to recount 3 fairytales that her Nan had first told to her. The first one centred around Lady Mary who had a troubled home life and was working with a dating app to uncover her Prince Charming. She swiped left on loads of guys until she discovered Mr F. Mr F and her texted back and forth and slowly connected with each other. One day, they arranged to hang out together in person. For the first time ever, her mum actually entertained an interest in her life and inquired about where she was rushing off to. Lady Mary managed to still meet Mr F in McDonald’s and they spent that day together. They continued to connect with each other after that and Lady Mary was more and more enticed by him. However, he was always engaged elsewhere and this stimulated Lady Mary’s suspicion. She tracked his address and appeared at his house to unearth a bloody body on the floor. Out of the window, she could identify him, ushering another girl towards the house. As the fear of being caught corrupted her mind, she panicked and established a clandestine hiding place before calling the police about the body. The next morning she spent at the police station filing a witness statement against him.
The next story was about two brothers, one rich and one poor who were disputing the possession of a foal. The poor one succeeded in court and won the foal. Ruby linked this story to one from real life which again starred two brothers, one rich and one poor. They were both taken to court over a fine on the poor man’s car which the rich man had inflicted and the Judge granted them with a series of riddles to solve. The poor man was stressed about paying the fine since he was unsure of the answers to the riddles until his wise daughter solved all of them for him. However, the Judge didn’t regard them as equals and condemned them with disdain. The wise daughter braved the crowds of the court by pointing this fact out. Although the outcome of the case wasn’t revealed to us, it was hinted that it didn’t produce the best result for the poor family.
The final story told the tale of Ashley and her family. Ashley worked in a fish and chip shop with her Dad and they desperately slaved away to make ends meet. She hadn’t known her Mum since a young age and one of her only memories of her was a specific gold pendant. There was a widow who endeavoured to impress her father at any chance she acquired and she eventually became Ashley’s stepmother after she gave her permission for the widow to marry her Dad. However, when Ashley couldn’t properly welcome the widow as her mum, this offended and distressed her new stepmother. Out in the streets, a women called Mina was begging for money and Ashley was kind enough to gift her with a £50 note. When her stepmother realised there was £50 missing from their earnings, Ashley misinformed that she’d probably lost it. Her stepmother was enraged and kicked her out of the house until she could pay her back with the £50. Mina finds Ashley again who’s distraught and she comforts her. Mina offers her the £50 note back but when Ashley refuses to accept it, she firmly deposits the same pendant that Ashley can recall her mum having, into her hands. Mina aids her out again by gifting her the same £50 note later on to go towards her school prom. At the same time she hands her a box which is seemingly empty until Ashley overturns it and a sheet of paper glides out. On the paper, there is a phrase written, that Ashley can remember her birth mum saying.
Throughout the performance, there was an excellent use of props, different costumes and scenery. Sophia used different hats and coats for the various different characters and she acted with different accents and voices. Some parts of the performance she sang or rapped but most of it was spoken word. Sophia also used a device with a microphone and buttons that could be pressed by her feet and layered different sounds including the magic of her voice and a violin to create backing music to further add to the impact of the performance. The background behind her was alight with various individual projections that linked to the story at that point such as a bus stop and McDonald’s sign. These were all controlled by her on her phone. The performance overall was seamless and effortless and she didn’t miss a beat while delivering all her lines, doing all her actions, dressing up and acting as the unique characters, controlling the projections and recording her backing music.
I absolutely loved ‘Common Lore’. Sophia did an amazing job of guiding us on a journey as Scarlett and describing all the stories in such a way that I could picture it all in my head. She really engaged the audience all the way through and she is very talented at what she does. I’d definitely be interested in watching ‘Common Lore’ again!
Thanks for reading this post!! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull