Reviews Performance Published 8 February 2015


Roundhouse ⋄ 3rd - 15th February 2015

Ascension to adulthood.

Lydia Thomson

Headlights on motorways and dark country roads.

The radio DJ and the Pet Shop Boys –

A voice on the periphery of 70 miles an hour,

Gliding down the left hand lane – there’s no need to go faster.

No need to rush past the lorry up front.

Because there are two journeys here, and both need some time.

Confront. Rewind: to your five year old self.

“What did you want to be when you grew up?”

Take a look at the driver next to you,

At the person next to you.

What did they want to be?

Are they happy, as far as you can see?

Introspection, reflection. Perception of ourselves, of each other.

Stories told in the confidence of strangers

Into the eyes of a man I’ve never met, and will never meet again.

“What brought you here today, tonight?”

We, mountaineering – steering our lives in the vague direction

Of childhood dreams. Grappling for the means to prioritise,

Systematise, escalating towards compromise.

Those dreams morph into the present moment

Without forewarning or forethought,

Before our very own eyes.

A kitbag, torchlight. A notepad, handwrite:

“What’s the defining decision from the past 10 years of your life?”

Headlights, brake lights.

“Tonight, what does that decision look like?”

Consider your five year old self,

Consider how you felt.

“How would they feel about the person you are now?”

Let’s think about this a while.

Let’s ask each other, now we’re on the final mile.

Are you a grown up?

When did you become a grown up?

When do you think you’ll become a grown up?

When will you get married, have children,

Live in a 4 bedroom house filled with things to fulfill them?

Take a breath, indicate left.

Yes I am a mother, yes I planned to be a mother.

I no longer speak to my brother.

I am married, I am single –

I don’t know where I’ll end up.

I just sort of ended up…


We all just sort of ended up

And we found somewhere to park,

We pitched our tents up in the dark

And we stepped out into the morning light

For the first sight of rolling hills

And blue skies and introspection, reflection.

Growing affection for those around you

Who surround you.

Who likewise found you in this studio theatre

Who will likewise leave you when the projections fade

And the house lights pervade

Everything you’ve just confessed to yourself.

Take a breath.

Steering through life’s own course, an unstoppable force.

We, mountaineering, hurtling towards the end.

Have I made the right decisions?

…There’s nothing to defend.


Lydia Thomson

Lydia writes about theatre for her own blog and reviews local work for the Basingstoke Gazette and the Hampshire Chronicle. She was also a member of the reviewing team for LIFT 2014. As well as arts journalism, Lydia is a playwright and performance artist working in Hampshire and London. She is an associate artist of Proteus Theatre Company in Basingstoke and is part of the artist's network at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton.

Mountaineering Show Info

Produced by non zero one, commissioned by the Roundhouse and Salisbury Playhouse

Cast includes non zero one




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