Written and performed by Eden Harbud, Breaking Up With Reality highlights the conflicting emotions that people have been feeling during lockdown.
It is very difficult to really put into words the feelings of loneliness and disconnection with reality and life since this whole pandemic begun, but with this poetic and engaging monologue, Eden Harbud sensitively does.
No matter who you are or what your own individual experience of lockdown has been over the last year, Breaking Up With Reality has plenty to say about it. Written in a reassuring and soothing way it ultimately suggests that no matter how you feel or react you are on the right path – even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
Cleverly told as if it is a break up of a relationship and making it sound as though reality is its own character, it allows the listener to really delve deep into what it is exactly we miss about reality and the lives we had before the pandemic. With references to “elbow bops” (that let’s be honest are no replacement for a hug) and just having contact with people face-to face, this is a monologue that really gets to the heart of the matter.
But the whole piece is a focus on how much reality is missed ,with this whole isolation period feeling a bit like limbo and the uncertainty affecting our ability to function as Harbud discusses being heavily tired constantly. The way in which it all comes across is soothing, helped by Harbud’s calming voice which is matched with subtle elements of music to break up passages of the speech nicely.
At just 25 minutes long, there is a lovely pace to it that makes it completely absorbing (particularly if you listen to it through headphones). It is relatable and offers a unique approach to discussing the psychological impact of isolation on people.
This is a sympathetic and reassuring monologue that captures the attention in an understated way and will certainly make you feel less alone with your feelings.
By Emma Clarendon
Breaking Up With Reality is available to listen to as part of the Living Record Festival until the 22nd February.