Image courtesy of Alison Hammond.
The Scottish Storytelling Centre
The play 30:60:80 is a humorous yet challenging story, depicting three generations of women and comparing their lives. Comprising a grandmother, mother, and daughter, who reach 80, 60, and 30 years old in the same year, the play was designed to celebrate their womanhood.
The twist of 30:60:80 was that all three characters were played by one actress called Amy Conway, who also directed and wrote the production. Moreover, the family depicted in the play was her own. The entire play was performed by Conway wearing earphones as she listened to three separate interviews on the same topic spoken by herself, her mother, and grandmother, while repeating them back under the guise of her character.
As the production proceeded, it became clear that there were designated areas for each character on the stage, as marked out by birthday balloons that read ‘30,’ ‘60’ and ‘80’ respectively. Conway then moved between each area of the stage according to the character she was playing. This became to some extent unnecessary, as her characterisation was clear enough with the unique individualism she accorded each character, using techniques of posture, accent and demeanour.
Conway’s performance indicated an abundance of talent, sensitivity and energy and provided a sense of sad poignancy, especially towards the end. This particularly stood out as, due to the play already being so original, and innovative with its construction and the manner in which its message was communicated, it was somewhat surprising that the acting also measured up. Additionally, scenes were peppered