Six generations gathered around a weathered wooden table; their history, trauma, and stories carved into its surface. In Tanya Ronder’s Table, the Best family have survived abandonment, war, and leopard attacks, charted over decades, to explore the central forces of love and family.
Neecy has organised to have three generations of her family to meet at their traditional family camping spot for a secret occasion. Choosing to ignore their personal crises for the weekend, the women wear away the shine of happy quality time very quickly. The intrusion of a controversial photographer, employed to document the event by Neecy, doesn’t help to stabilise rocky communication.
Four people enter a supermarket like any ordinary Tuesday. To their shopping trips they bring the baggage of their families, problems, and personalities. Soon they will share the connection of witnessing a violent attack but, for now, they wander the aisles and think to themselves.
This year has seen a number of staged examinations of domestic violence and violence against women in time with the #MeToo movement and a global recognition of the violence and abuse faced by so many women. Steve Rodgers’s new work fragments his examination across four different stories. The unnamed cast trace three violent relationships from meeting to testifying and illustrate the often subtle ways power is abused to sometimes deadly ends.
Based on Eimear McBride’s 2013 novel of the same name, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is a brutal and unrelenting portrayal of the life of a young Irish woman from before her birth into her early 20s. Seeming to move from trauma to trauma and diving deep into the horrors of poverty, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, illness and death, the protagonist understandably struggles to understand herself through the lenses that the surrounding world imposes on her.