Glassy Ceiling, Concrete Flaw is a play written by Rachel Elphick which follows the story of two long time friends who turn from colleagues to enemies against the pressures of the working world. The play challenges and personifies the term “the good guy always come last” taking the audience on a journey of self-discovery through the unsteady relationship between the main characters Lia (Charisa Roma) and Hannah (Jaime Wynn).
When I saw the title of the production, I imagined it as a play on the phrase “those in glass houses should not throw stones.” This phrase applies to the sensitivity of Lia and Hannah’s friendship, in this case the glass house could be a metaphor for the company that both girls work for. Lia is presented as the more confident friend who is sure of herself and what she deserves. Her mother plays an instrumental role in reassuring her of this, throughout the play she is continuously speaking highly of Lia in front of Hannah. Hannah is the opposite of Lia, a humble girl who is honest with the employers about not being sure of her future at the company but showing great interest and passion.
“The audience is immediately exposed to the difference between the two girls”
The breakdown of the girl’s friendship begins to take place when they both get the same job; the four walls create a confined space which leaves no room for Lia’s ego to grow whilst Hannah’s confidence was able to flourish. The opening scene shows both girls during an interview through their responses the audience is immediately exposed to the difference between the two girls. This is one of two interview scenes during the play and is very significant in measuring how much the girls have changed towards each other whilst working in a professional environment.
“The play can make commentary on the highly competitive nature of the journalism industry”
The interview scenes were relatable to me as a student, and many other students, we’ve all been in an interview room with candidates like Lia. Their confidence speaks volumes and they can speak highly of themselves they have the hunger for the job but not for the right reasons. Thus, the play can make commentary on the highly competitive nature of the journalism industry and the natural competitive nature that can exist between friends and colleagues in trying to climb the job ladder.
“[The play] challenges the narrative that only women are victims of sexual harassment”
The production not only picks up on the competitive nature of the workplace but also, importantly, covers the issue of sexual assault in the workplace. A situation within the play which really tests the girl’s friendship and highlights Lia’s major character flaw because she is way too self-consumed to realise the damage that she has caused. It was interesting and necessary to see that it was a male who was the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace because it challenges the narrative that only women are victims of sexual harassment and it can equally be male or female.
“Jaime Wynn playing Lia gave an excellent performance during her dramatic monologue”
This incident really indicates the breaking point for Hannah, as she comes to terms with the fact that Lia really isn’t a good friend to her. In the final scene, the girls finally speak on the issues that they’ve been holding back and tensions are at an all time high. Jaime Wynn playing Lia gave an excellent performance during her dramatic monologue, the silence of the audience as she violently expressed how betrayed she felt by the world. The monologue was very telling that Lia was looking at things from a selfish point of view, as Hannah reminds her that she was not able to recognise that she had found a partner and paid her zero attention.
“The office highlighted the strain that the workplace had put on their friendship”
As the play progresses the audience can gage the difference between Hannah and Lia’s careers and lives. The progression of the play happens rather swiftly and that is due to the excellent set design, it is phenomenal how the rotation of then it was Hannah’s last day in the office because she got a promotion, she picked wished Lia all the best picked up her belongings and exited stage. The significance of the play beginning and ending in the office highlighted the strain that the workplace had put on their friendship. The ending of the play seemed a bit anticlimactic especially after the intensity that was built from the dramatic monologue. However, as Hannah exits the stage and the lights dim the audience are left to take in the fate of the characters.
The storyline was relatable because it commented on a lot of clichés situations that we’ve all been through such as losing a friend for example. All the actors did an amazing job of making the show run smoothly, transitioning between scenes. Overall, the play had a plot that was easy to follow and enabled the audience to engage and relate to the characters.
Featured Image courtesy of The Nottingham New Theatre Official Facebook Page.