During the pre-show workshop there was a phrase that was said which really stuck in my mind: ‘you don’t really owe anyone anything.’ This made me think of Oscar, who was always present, always there watching. Yet no one greeted him, no one included him even though he worked at the bar. It was like he was invisible to everyone. He did his work without any fuss and never complained, even when he had to scrape gum from underneath the table. While the factory workers came back to the bar complaining every day about what they had to do, they didn’t realise that it wasn’t only their work that had a downside to it. When Oscar asked Tracey for a reference she declined, and I asked myself why did she decline? I realised she felt entitled, like the factory belonged to her family and people who have been working there for years and whose generation was present for years. Yet she didn’t realise that just because your family may have worked in the factory doesn’t mean that they own the factory. Familiarity tends to blind us sometimes, till that thing that makes us familiar is ripped away – that’s when we see things for what they really are. When the factory locked the workers, who went on strike, out I like to think that that would have been a wakeup call, however for Tracey and Jason it honestly wasn’t at all.
“ Familiarity tends to blind us sometimes, till that thing that makes us familiar is ripped away”
Personally, I don’t blame Oscar for going to get the factory work that paid him more, because when he wanted help, they shut him out, yet when they needed help, they automatically believed that he should stand for them too. As he said: ‘if they don’t see me, I don’t want to see them’ and I truly believe that you reap what you sow. Some people have to do what they have to do, and that individualistic mind-set, created by capitalist competition, was a theme in the play because when push comes to shove are the same people who you call your friends really down for you? Tracey so easily abandoned Cynthia who is meant to be her best friend, and this was because of a job that Tracey didn’t even want to sign up for in the first place. It just shows that ‘everyone’s true colours show eventually’, especially when money is involved.