People have described the Covid-19 pandemic as “we are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat.” This is phrase is wholeheartedly captured in Women in Theatre’s online production of Women in Lockdown.
Predominantly taking place over a zoom call, we meet a multitude of different women across Birmingham and the Black Country as we delve into how the pandemic has affected them. Using research from a range of women across the West Midlands, it’s a production that expresses the emotional ups and downs. This piece spans across universal themes such as home-schooling, unemployment, working from home, furlough envy, vivid dreams and missing family.
Accompanied by an evocative score, we witness the way these women have learned to cope with the confines of being at home and the uncertainty of the world right now. Cutting from shots inside their homes, zoom conversations and key workers hurrying to work, it’s an insightful production that spans the breadth of emotions we have all felt during this time.
Despite being an online production, it certainly touches all the senses as we are reminded of the familiar sound of the NHS clapping, the crackle of the wifi going down on Zoom or the silence of time passing you by.
“I’m alright, but I’m not alright” they sing, as despite feeling fragile they continue to get up every day and persevere. “We’ll never have this time again,” they echo as we see images of the women enjoying nature, spending more time with their children and having a moment to breathe. This shows that despite the emotional rollercoaster we’ve all been on, there are still things to be grateful for that we may never had experienced had this not happened.
There are the driveway conversations, neighbours dropping off shopping and sharing of memes that show the moments that have really got us through this time.
It’s an inventive and powerful piece of online theatre with something in it that everyone can relate to as it spans a range of emotions we’ve all felt. We’ve all gone through a lot during this pandemic but their poignant message stands, that we have each other to get through it with.
Ending with a moving montage of the women sharing what they’d like to continue doing when life gets back to normal. People have learnt what life really means to them. Such as laughing more, spending time with their family, slowing down, being grateful and not taking anything for granted. It’s a piece of theatre that will leave you reflecting on the last 6 months and how it has shaped who you are today.
You can watch the production on the Women in Theatre YouTube channel.