Being in quarantine has taught me an invaluable lesson that I always took for granted: hardship brings out the best and worst in us. As I have learnt during the last month and a half spent in lockdown, quarantine can make you irritable, listless and frustrated with things that are out of your control. But it can also inspire you to achieve things that seemed out of reach before. In the early days of quarantine, I can remember the stories of famous thinkers working during lockdown circulating around the internet. William Shakespeare was likely to have written both King Lear and Macbeth during lockdown, and Isaac Newton developed some of his most important theories during the Great Plague of 1665.

When I saw that the ADC was developing an online season, I knew I had to be involved in some way, for the sake of keeping my artistic spirit alive more than anything else. But what would I write about? I knew that I didn’t want to create something that was saturated with allusions to the current climate, but I also wanted to write something that was pertinent to people’s experiences. It didn’t help that I had no clue what I was going to do – writing for theatre is fairly new to me, and I was not as assured in my ‘voice’ as I would have liked to be. But after listening to a podcast and thinking how strange it would be if someone’s voice had been trapped in a radio, I had an idea for a play. I developed upon this theme further, deciding to incorporate elements of Buddhism and Christianity – the religions in which I was brought up – as well as paganism and folklore from around the world. After creating an array of colourful characters and a willful protagonist, Lacuna Ridge was born.

As much as Lacuna Ridge documents the difficulties of being human, it also embraces the complexity, creativity and sheer excitement of being alive

Lacuna Ridge straddles that strange world between the surreal and the real, what we know to be true and what we thought to be false. It follows the journey of X, a girl who has been stranded in the Realm, with no memory of who she is or why she is there. The only thing she is sure of is her desire to go home. To return to the real world, she must go on a perilous journey to collect parts of her name. Only when she has done this, can she escape the Realm. On the way, X meets weird yet wonderful characters. She crosses paths with the Bodhi Guards, a pair of clumsy yet threatening officers entrusted with protecting Skhandres City, and falls into the grasp of the cruel Lepus Loki (played by yours truly!). She meets the incompetent but thoughtful Apollo Don, a man who claims to be both Buddha and Christ, which was inspired by a real-life encounter with a man I met in Chinese Canteen. X must also journey across strange places that inspire both revelation and fear – the moving mountains that shapeshift before her eyes; Skhandres City, where skyscrapers go on for eternity, and the perilous Lacuna Ridge, which she must cross to return home.


Mountain View

The Man in the Lift: On for One Night Only!

Parts of Lacuna Ridge were taken from my own experiences during lockdown – X's frustration at being stuck in this strange world is relatable for anyone feeling trapped in this new ‘normal’. But as much as Lacuna Ridge documents the difficulties of being human, it also embraces the complexity, creativity and sheer excitement of being alive. X loses her temper and often feels helpless, but she is also curious, determined and keen to learn from the spiritual world around her. I hope that anyone listening to Lacuna Ridge will feel the sense of adventure and wonder that I did as I wrote the play, and I hope that listeners will be able to find the familiar in the unfamiliar. As with X, we have all been immersed in a brave new world. And, like X, we should all make the best of it, whatever that may be.

Lacuna Ridge will be performed at 7pm on Wednesday 3rd June and Thursday 4th June. You can listen to it on Cam FM or the ADC Youtube Channel.