Brief transactions: The Cloakroom Attendant @Tristanbates

The Cloakroom Attendant is a mediation on the ordinary among the extraordinary. It concludes this evening at the Tristan Bates Theatre.

Set deep below a prestigious gallery of national importance. In the basement lies the cloakroom. It’s a place where dreams, fashion and items larger than a small bag need to be left. It’s a ritual and an obligation before viewing the masterpieces high above. 

And of course being a job in London it’s a role that’s filled by a young European national, Dimitra Barla. Over qualified and over from Greece. Fluent in four languages.  She watches the people and their belongings while contemplating her own life and choices.

This solo show brings to life Barla’s experiences working as a cloakroom attendant. She provides a museum-like categorisation and classification of visitors. And along the way she also imagines and reimagines her own life and the artefacts around her. 

Alternatively funny and mysterious, objects and artefacts intertwine with her own dreams. Barla captivates with her storytelling even if you’re not always clear what it is she’s talking about. But does anyone listen to what the cloakroom attendant is telling you. You give them your stuff and then take your ticket before moving on. A brief transaction takes on so many possibilities here.

A short piece and part of the Camden Fringe, it concludes it’s run at the Tristan Bates Theatre tonight 4 August.


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