Originally written for Theatre Bristol Writers.
‘Exposed’ by the Impulse Collective seeks to explore how impulses are restricted according to our internal or external factors. Using a combination of comedy, verbatim, physical theatre, projection and autobiography. Exposed is a rollercoaster ride through the confessions of those struggling with the suppression of their baser instincts, including a man who wants to scream in restaurants, a nurse whose had enough of her patients and a woman who wants to shake her baby. The Impulse Collective have created a fast paced, slick, thought provoking, sometimes surreal and often funny production, that whilst having lighter moments by the end left me feeling a bit like I’d been the one dowsed in cold water and that it had only explored a small aspect of a higher, more complex and hopeful side of the human story which we never got to fully hear about.
The drama (and there was a lot of it) unfolded quickly through lots of contrasting, movement pieces, some shouting, a bit of screaming, moments of intensity and high emotion as the characters shared their frustrations and compulsions with the audience and each other. The cast worked well as an ensemble delivering the show with energy and commitment and whilst this is not the kind of work I would normally choose to see (this type of theatre can sometimes remind me of my own drama student days) I certainly wasn’t bored, and ‘Exposed’ is a show that will keep you thinking the day after.
The production often sought to reveal a darker side to human nature, but overall I’ve really been left with thinking that the ability to have control over our impulses is perhaps also what makes us uniquely human. There is always a choice to follow a compulsion – to act or react at any given time in any given moment. The choices we make also have consequences. It is the consideration of these choices, consequences and how they are framed which are also equally worthy of consideration.