Ivan Hansen lives in Denmark, when his neighbour passes away suddenly, Ivan realises he doesn’t know anything about him. As Ivan puzzles over how strange it is that you can live next to someone and not know them, he begins to wonder what it is that connects us. This wondering leads the audience on a quick fire journey through the possible history of male friendships, leading us to an exquisitely mimed disemboweling on the battle field. Ivan and Pekka are friends, Ivan comes from Denmark and Pekka comes from Finland, their friendship has spanned many miles.
Through shadows, physical theatre and some of the most impressive mime work I’ve seen, we are gently reminded of the importance of connection and reaching out in the hand of friendship.
I also enjoyed seeing grown men re-enacting their childhood with such commitment and joy. It felt like a refreshing change to see a show where two men where playfully remembering the joy of connection. I feel like there has been a lot of theatre I’ve seen this past year where men are arrogant or abusive characters and that can feel depressing to me.
I particularly loved a scene where Pekka and Ivan and their friend (acted by Pekka) went on a bike ride. Seeing Pekka change between the two characters with their distinctive movement motifs as well as being impressed with the actors skills – simply, it just made me laugh. Sometimes having a laugh and remembering to introduce myself to the people around me is exactly what I need and tonight was one of those nights. The audience were invited to stay for a taste of a special drink from Denmark, which was a lovely thought.
If you’d like a gentle night that gives you a giggle and a reminder to be gentle with the people around you – then go see these two unusual and talented men and let them take you on a journey of friendship and connection.
Next Door runs at Tobacco Factory Theatre until 15th June