How The Light Gets In – Clare Sita Fisher, Light Night 2014
Ernest Hemingway said: ‘We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.’ I imagine this is what inspired Clare Fisher’s engaging collection of realistic stories titled ‘How The Light Gets In.’ The stories explore the significance and contrasting metaphors of light and dark from a range of perspectives. Clare looks at our flaws and how, often the hardest of times can make us see the light. The stories were showcased through an innovative performance at Leeds Central Library on October 3rd as part of Light Night 2014. It was far from my usual Friday night.
I walked into an outpour of love, trust, truth and perseverance being explored through the theme of ‘unforgiving lights’ – and that was just one of the stories! The pieces were performed in monologue form mainly, yet there were a few that involved interaction from multiple characters as well as from the audience. Some audience members were beckoned into the performance space and I was personally handed a note, which read ‘Who let your light in?’ It was a very interactive experience and so as an audience member I almost felt the actors were truly confiding in me. I couldn’t believe that such effective and thought provoking material was being performed for free at Leeds Central Library.
The set-up was very unique and unexpected. A room lit only by fairy lights, which were wrapped around the library columns and even around the performers. String was draped across the room with notes and questions attached, each relating to experiences involving light and dark. The set was arranged so that viewers could come and go as they pleased, which some did, though most were fully engaged and chose to stay for the whole performance.
Many of the stories explored struggle and femininity. I noticed that all of the performers were female and spoke from a female perspective. It all sounds fairly serious yet there was sure humour weaved into the storytelling: a light-hearted way of looking at tough but familiar situations. It was relatable, almost sarcastic comedy at times – though in other places quite the opposite. Fisher explored how the little things – such as ‘the reading light’, can bring down relationships. The concepts were so realistic that at times it felt like I was being read someone’s diary. Thrillingly intrusive.
The message that particularly caught my attention was ‘it is not knowing that drives us’. I have always been tormented by the idea that I don’t have enough time to learn everything. Clare’s stories explore the idea that, in a way, if we knew everything we wouldn’t have anything to live for. It’s a relieving realisation if, like me, you’ve never truly considered this outlook.
The stories express the light and dark situations in long term relationships as well as exploring subjects such as fear, expectation, bitterness, innocence, trust, perseverance and true enlightenment. The stories allow you to reflect on your own situations, which I assume would result in a form of realisation for most people. I’m quite sure this is what Fisher intended and it’s certainly an achievement. From the moment I was handed the note, the evening made me reflect on the things and people that truly matter. Fisher highlights people’s ignorance and fears of ‘the dark unknown’. She explores people’s self-consciousness due to the all-controlling media and she also delves into sexuality on a range of levels – from excitement to tediousness and from jealousy to rape.
I recommend Clare’s stories to anyone who is searching for relief or a change of perspective. She captures situations effectively and authentically. A confident insight for a next step can definitely be gained from Fisher’s work – it certainly created this for me. When ‘How The Light Gets In’ is published, I will definitely be purchasing a copy. With her motivation and enthusiasm to develop the material and performance further, I imagine ‘How The Light Gets In’ will be on stage in no time – so keep your eyes peeled.
There is so much more to each story than I can possibly describe. On the whole, the evening made me realise that words can sometimes help us out of the dark. I thank Clare for a great evening and recommend her work to everyone, especially those who feel they are caught in the ‘dark’. If in fact, we are all broken, perhaps it is what makes us who we are.
The State of the Arts published four of Clare’s micro-stories from ‘How The Light Gets In’ prior to Light Night 2014. Have a read HERE!
For more details of Clare’s work, visit www.claresitafisher.com