The premise of Standstill is simple – three actors on three treadmills for sixty minutes. But if you thought that this was a creepy-stalker play about spying on people doing their gym workout, think again.

The intimate Loft at Q provides the perfect setting for this dark and engaging play about life. Written and directed by Anders Falstie-Jensen, Standstill focuses on the hopes, dreams and fears we have in life and the realization that sometimes things just don’t work out the way we planned.

Inspired by true stories, the narrative is made up of a collection of short sketches that provide a humorously cynical snapshot of life and the frustrations that come along with it. Much like running on a treadmill, sometimes in life you can work hard but still not go anywhere. This pessimistic but realistic perspective on facing failure is the underlying theme throughout.

In the hour we meet a variety of characters from different walks of life – a cyclist, a motivational speaker, a hairdresser and even a pair of German tourists. They all have a story to tell and their tales are shared candidly by the actors who switch seamlessly between the different personas.

I loved how the treadmills were incorporated into the narrative. Moving the treadmills around and changing the pace every so often kept things fresh and changed the dynamic of not only the scene, but also the way in which the actors interacted with one another. At one point the treadmill is even used as a conveyer belt which I thought was brilliant.

The thing that impressed me the most was the actors’ performance. They managed to stay in control and keep pace with the treadmill without breaking character once which I’m sure is no easy feat! All three were simply excellent but Josephine in particular was a standout for me – just superb.

Standstill will have you smiling and laughing, but it will also leave you pondering about life – your life. It is masterfully written, incredibly entertaining and probably the only thought-provoking play that involves treadmills you will ever see.

By Faith-Ashleigh Wong

Find more info about StandStill on the Q Theatre website.

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