It was spell-binding. An audience captivated for the entirety of seventy minutes, leaning forwards in their seats, mouths slightly agape at the one women show, ‘Hanna’, performed by Sophie Khan Levy and written by Sam Potter. There was a respectful silence from the audience as Hanna relayed her story, punctuated only with an occasional laugh at a relatable sentiment, a gasp as her story was unveiled and finally, tears from those who emphasised with her plight of discovering that her enfant daughter was not biologically her own.
It is as though you are an old friend of Hanna’s as she shares her discoveries on the trials and tribulations of parenting. She casually walks in and takes a seat with a monologue that sounds so natural, you could hardly believe that it was scripted. Her engaging and friendly demeanour appeals largely to the audience, so that it appears initially as though this is a discussion that you might wish to sit down and join in with. She considers the future she could have had, the responses from her family at suddenly becoming a young mother, sharing the tensions and joy that it brought her, but most of all, how it irrevocably changed her life.
The defining moment is of course when Hanna learns, through the pressure of her suspicious partner, that her baby is not biologically her own and was swapped in the hospital. Now, the play takes on less of a discussion, and more of a story-telling tone. This is the moment when the audience really leans forwards in their seats, not wanting to miss a single moment as the tension, pace and panic builds in her life.
Hype O Clock (on CSRfm, Wednesdays, 3-6pm) had the opportunity to delve into discussion with the actress Sophie and asked her which actor or actress she found inspiring. To this she responded that it was all those in the acting community who continue to perform despite not rising to fame, emphasising that lack of fame does not equate to lack of talent. Her shout out to the under dog reminded me that just because you have never heard of a play or an actor before, do not disregard it or them when they come to a theatre near you. I had never come across Sophie or Sam’s work before, but I was blown away by the play. This is a shout out to all those under dogs, from those who struggle as a single parent, to those trying to climb the career ladder. You are doing amazing.
If you would like to hear the full interview with Sophie, click here. https://www.mixcloud.com/CSRfm/
Sophie is touring the country until February. Click here to find out more http://papatango.co.uk/#hanna