Review: Back to Square One?

by Emma Maguire on September 7, 2022

Reviewed by Shona Jaunas

Back to Square One invites you into conversation between 95 year old Inga’s living room in Denmark and her grandson, Anders Falstie-Jensen in New Zealand.

It starts with the audience all writing their names on the stage front in chalk which immediately brings us into the space; we are all involved in this discussion. Through the play Falstie-Jensen keeps bringing us into his conversations with Inga and thoughts as he discusses the meaning of living on this earth through Danish folk stories and interpretations of the multi-generational response to the Covid lockdowns. He uses the stage and chalk as a visual representation keeping us on track as he meanders through what it means to feel isolation, be far away from family and deal with fear.

This is a non-pretentious moment of truth. Falstie-Jensen presents this story as a shared experience and invites us to eventually question whether going “Back to Square One?” is the next step in our journey or whether there is another option. Perhaps we could be better?

If you are looking for an epiphany, then this is not the play for you but if you would like to partake in a shared experience that may reflect and extend your ideas of how the lockdowns affected you and the world that follows then this is a warm and generous invitation into one family’s experience.  Falstie-Jensen is relaxed in his story telling style and his genuine positive attitude is infectious.

The cake is really, really good, apparently a very difficult to make Danish danish.  The chance to talk and have coffee together after the show only adds to its sense of taking us all on a journey together.

I went on a Sunday afternoon and it was a perfect way to reflect on not only Falstie-Jensen and Inga’s conversations but that yes, we have just all been through a global pandemic together and maybe we should reevaluate the world we live in.

Circa Two – Sat 3rd – Sun 11th September, Tues – Sat 7.30pm; Sun 4.30pm

$25 – $35 (and $50 combo ticket available for 2 Tahi Festival shows at Circa)
Get your tickets here.

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