Mary Paterson in The F Word:
Louise Orwin’s A Girl and a Gun takes a long, hard look at looking in cinema. It is a two-person show – with highly stereotyped roles named simply Him and Her – presented in a cinematic experience on stage. Multiple cameras feed three screens, which show different angles of the live event. These projections perform the alchemy of the lens, heightening the difference between the sweaty, fulsome bodies onstage and their cropped, glistening images on screen.
There is also an autocue screen embedded in the middle of the audience seating area, from which the actors read their lines and stage instructions. Sometimes the words they read are also projected behind them, at the back of the stage; sometimes audience members crane our necks to see what the actors are reading. Either way, in the small space of Camden People’s Theatre, this live reading gives the actors’ eyes a glazed-over look and mediates the live experience, creating a distance between us and them that makes me realize, with a jolt, how much of the pleasure of cinema lies in watching people who can’t watch you back.