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Adam Dellow's Review

Studying Scrounge for a module called "The Director's Handbook" for their Theatre International Baccalaureate, Adam had this to share...

Scrounge is as play written by Amie M Marie about the personal independence payment system, PIP, and issues inherent with it, and the struggles of the people related to it.  It follows Carol, a Disabled woman struggling with mental health, her daughter Hannah who must care for Carol amid financial difficulties and Abby a young worker indebted to loan sharks struggling with work and money. Scrounge is attempting to show all sides of the system and how it dehumanizes and affects all involved.

A theme in the play is that of  the loss of life, it hovers over the entire work and each character faces it, Carol has suicidal thoughts and has attempted to take her life, Hannah has the possibility of losing her mother or losing the chance to live her own life, Abby, due to the nature of her job, is confronted with the loss of life and has to continue to be so unless she wants her life to in turn be ruined. Even somewhat minor characters such as Josh Sandu have death looming over them, One major character that I have yet to mention is Dino a figure that while representing a myriad of things, represents this stated theme and the character’s view of it, this is supported by how he appears only to characters when the loss of life, if some form or another is near, such as the cliffhanger ending. And this is just one somewhat rushed analysis of a single theme in a play filled with many.

In my opinion the most powerful scene is act two scene one, it is a long scene with a lot going on, political commentary on the politician Nadine Dorris, interjections from Dino that contain references to Greek myths and the Iliad, but most of all it shows the audience the abuse hurled at Carol for the most petty reasons. It is almost impossible not to have a strong emotional reaction to some if not all the things said, and while I cannot verify this, the insults seem to be taken from the experiences of the author, as she herself is disabled. As a performer to the scene is very interesting and can be approached from many angles like most of the scenes in the work.

The described strong theming and emotional weight made the play very enjoyable to read and as such watch/ perform (while not the most fitting of words enjoyable is the best way I can think to sum it up). the realistic and to easy-to-understand dialogue make scenes gripping and the plot moving at a fast pace, and due to how well the time with each character is spent, it is easy to understand their complex and multifaceted, desires motivations. the constant interjections from Dino allow those willing to dive deeper in their analysis due to their often-cryptic nature. And most importantly it provides an insight into the struggles of disabled people when it comes to something as simple as getting support.