- Deborah Chu
- 29 August 2018
A microcosm of community tension in a Glasgow saree shop
Set in a multicultural Glasgow neighbourhood, Closed Doors finds four women gathering in the warmth of a saree shop when their block of flats is evacuated by police. As they await the all-clear, the women drink tea and speculate about the reasons for the disruption, before tensions erupt as curmudgeonly Maggie begins casting blame on her Eastern European and South Asian neighbours - which include the women sitting before her.
Through a combination of music and spoken word, Belle Jones and Lauren Gilmore lay bare the women's fear and anger, whilst drummer Audrey Tait spurs on the evening's percussive drama. Jones and Gilmore are compelling storytellers, and re-create the panorama of life on these streets through their powerful versifying. The narrative, however, is let down by a few pacing issues - much of the first half is given to Maggie's racist stock phrases, at the expense of fleshing out the inner lives of the other women in the shop. Moreover, the sudden introduction near the end of young Kelsey, who ultimately holds the answers to tonight's chaos, feels abrupt and underdeveloped.
The strength of Closed Doors, however, comes from its sympathetic exploration into community tensions, wherein people living cheek by jowl know both a great deal and, conversely, very little about one another. Through its intimate scope and passionate performances, Closed Doors highlights both the conflict and the immense vitality that exists in such neighbourhoods - a topic which, unfortunately, is rarely discussed with such compassion and nuance as it is here.
Summerhall, run ended.