Tick Tock – by Debbie Redcliffe – Blog Post Review

On Saturday night, I arrived in the city of Liverpool at 7.40pm, after being pressed for time to make it to watch the new and exciting play, Tick Tock, written by the revitalised Debbie Redcliffe, opening at Hope Street Theatre. The play started at 8pm, and after I agitatedly found a parking spot, I made it into the theatre at 7.50pm, with just enough time to get a drink and find my seat. I had just made it, although the performance started a few minutes late due to a collection of audience members trickling in past eight. There are those that are early, those who make it with the skin of their teeth, and of course those who are late – although we must not forget those who wanted to attend but for unforeseen circumstances never made it.

This fight with time is often something we don’t think about until we are faced with its consequences, and like a thief in the night, time can get away from us. Tick Tock explores this battle with time in relation to Womanhood’s body clock, tied with society’s pressure to be a parent.

The story unfolds through three women’s journeys. Sarah, (Debbie Redcliffe), whose time to become a mother is running out, but won’t give up on her dream. Jenna, (Lisa McMahon), a mother of four, who feels the strain of parenthood, whilst mourning her heart-breaking miscarriages, and lastly, Pauline, (Emma Vaudrey), who desires to be loved and respected, although she may never be able to have children. Sean Jones cleverly accompanied the actresses on stage, multi-rolling with fast paced changes, playing the husband/love interest (Gary, Mike, Danny and Luciano).

Opening the play, Redcliffe delivered a powerful comedic but tragic monologue, displaying strength and vulnerability whilst exercising in an attempt to get her body in pristine condition. The audience were faced with harsh realities of comparison, evoking collective compassion with McMahon and Vaudrey also producing strong monologues. The play smoothly shifted and transitioned like clockwork which was a sign of a focused director (Margaret Connell), and an experienced light and sound design technician (Pete Mitchelson).

Furthermore, Tick Tock challenged the conventional stereotypes of parenthood, and commented on society’s pressure to become mother and father, whilst presenting a clear insight into the influence of the biological body clock and the fear its evokes of time running out. The performance also surprisingly had three musical pieces, with Redcliffe, McMahon and Vaudrey all breaking into song, and this added another dimension to the play. I would like to see how this element develops. The songs themselves were raw and thought provoking, although I think could have been placed skilfully as transitions or an ensemble piece, especially when the three characters meet in the final scene.

Overall, I am intrigued to see what is next for Tick Tock and would say this is just a start for Redcliffe’s clever writing.

About Author /

Sheldon is an actor, writer, and drama facilitator originally from Bolton, now based in Liverpool. He has a Master's in Performance and a Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies and is a co-founder of Ami Theatre Company.

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