In the recent Junior School performances of Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs the collected cast members embraced the eloquent text with vigour.
A script which lies disarmingly close enough to everyday speech to feel grounded and recognisable, but heightened by invisible shifts in location and time as the relationship of the characters unfolds.
The cast admirably grappled with the muscular tone and style, creating spontaneous and emotionally connected interactions. The performers also were drawn together as a venerable chorus of couples at once mirroring the and magnifying the stage action while each developed the through line of their own character’s travails. The stage set was eloquently designed by three lower fifth students, who created a space for interaction and that stood alone also as an artistic installation.
Lungs is about the climate crisis, but it is also about a couple deciding whether or not to have a baby, and how that decision makes them confront things within their relationship, themselves, and (occasionally) society at large. The ensemble admirably dealt with important and life changing issues with true aplomb, a graceful and sensitive company was hewn from their shared experience of devising the ensemble moments and rehearsing the play text.
Lungs is a play interested in the collective and the individual, in responsibility and insufficiency and about how impossible it feels to ever make a truly selfless decision, but how we shouldn’t not try to make those decisions on behalf of the greater good. The cast and company came together to make a piece of challenging theatre that was great and good.