“Fridge” by Emma Zadow – a play script about coming home and trying to escape from it

Fridge by Emma Zadow is a play script where the only scenery is the refrigerator which dominates the stage in every scene. You are left to imagine the bus stop, the animals and the landscape while the actors use the fridge to represent all those things and also as a space to escape from what is happening on the stage. I think, although I cannot be sure, that the fridge represents home and security as well as acting as a reminder of those things to the characters.

I’ve read a lot of play scripts in my time but usually for a play I have seen on stage or am about to see. Many of those have also been classics such as Shakespeare and to some extent I have known what to expect from a play. Fridge is a lot more unformed and less traditional than that and more like Samuel Becket in using the stage as a reflection of what is going on in the characters’ minds.

In this play Alice returns to rural Norfolk from the city because her sister Lo has mental health problems and has recently tried to die by suicide. The sisters have a history which mirrors the current circumstances. The third character of the play is Charlie who lives in Norfolk and cares for animals. He has had a previous relationship with Alice and has also cared for Lo more recently. Alice loves her sister but wants to escape the rural environment. Lo wants to escape everything. Charlie is attracted to Alice but has responsibilities. They seem stuck in their relationship patterns and they do not seem to be able to get away from Norfolk.

I don’t read a lot of plays any more as I am not studying literature with the only recent exceptions being The Vagina Monologues which I review here. I acquired this book from the subscription I have with Ninja Book Box who send me an independently published book each month. The books I have been sent this way are widely varying and it is always interesting to try something which I would not have chosen for myself (I read mostly from mainstream publishers because those seem to be the ones that come to my attention more). I have to say that Fridge wasn’t one of the successes. It may be that I haven’t read a play for a while or that I just missed something in the text but I really didn’t understand where this play was going or what the purpose of it was. The text seemed to be an exchange of impenetrable pronouncements and I have no idea what the conclusion was – maybe this is a play that you should see on stage to understand it. Not one for me.