Distance Remaining – Helen Milne Productions
Distance Remaining tells the story of 3 individuals who are making a break for freedom in their own small way. We meet an elderly lady who has fallen over inside her home and determined to get up again so she can pick her grandson up on the day he is released from prison, a woman on furlough who has volunteered to deliver groceries to those shielding and a young man who has lost his dog whilst walking him on the beach.
Unfortunately the stories are far from gripping and the characters were left under developed. Despite the fact that the segments were around 20 minutes each they all felt as if they dragged. Much of it seemed repetitive and I didn’t learn much about any of the characters. The actors however give their all to their characters. Dolina MacLennan plays the pensioner, Karen Dunbar is the volunteer driver and Reuben Joseph is the young man trying to find his dog. MacLennan in particular is brilliantly convincing as she lies on the floor in pain, struggling to get up and struggling with her memories. At times I felt genuinely uncomfortable seeing her struggle so close up although I wasn’t sure as to what her injury was and why it was preventing her from getting up.
In the final few moments of the show the segments come together with a glimmer of hope but these moments aren’t enough to save the rest of the piece that has dragged throughout.
Despite the under developed theme, stylistically Distance Remaining it was very clever. In the initial segment, we are faced with a realistic looking front room and equally realistic looking bruises on her arm yet when the camera pans out from the ultra close up shots we see that outside the confines of the front room the rest of the home is just white tape marking out where the bathroom and kitchen would be. A similar approach is taken in the second segment with the camera stationed on the dashboard for the majority of the time however the odd shot pans out and shows a car on a set. However the final segment remains realistic throughout and is shot in its entirety on a beach. The reason for departing from the method used to bring the audience back to the realisation of watching fiction in this final segment is unclear.
Overall Distance Remaining is a slow watch and not even some innovative ideas in terms of style can embolden this piece.
Distance Remaining is running from the 14th April – 9th May. More information and tickets can be brought here.