Updated: Jul 17, 2020
The Space Between is a new musical short, written and performed entirely in lockdown isolation by West End star David Hunter and actor/singer-songwriter Caroline Kay.
Having seen the musical Waitress several times — written by Sara Bareilles — I was very familiar with David’s vocal skill and, thanks to his own music, his writing prowess. He always performed with a sense of charm and playfulness, but added layer upon layer with every performance of the show that I saw. In The Space Between, he stars alongside Caroline Kay, whom he’s never met in-person. I was unaware of Caroline’s shining talent before this short musical film landed on the small screen, but I’m nevertheless glad to have been exposed to it in this way.
Running at only 13 minutes in length, The Space Between captures the harsh realities of the lockdown situation we’re all currently in. Focusing on a fractured relationship, shown through screen recordings of Zoom calls, texting and FaceTime, the short film dances gracefully from the catchy opening song to the touching closer. The opening, titled ‘Are You Happy Now?’ puts all attention on the guy in the relationship. David’s voice rings out as he slams all frustration from his personal life on his pals, coming across as an anthem for himself. The following number switches to the woman, played by Caroline. Ramblings to her mother become the basis for ‘Half of My Heart,’ a rich ballad that plants the seeds for the duo’s connecting voices in the finale.
This is where The Space Between gets truly brilliant. Both David and Caroline pour their hearts out in ‘On Your Side,’ where overlapping lines become stunningly simple harmonies. A sort of spiritual sequel to Bareilles’s ‘You Matter To Me,’ which isn’t surprising given David’s time in Waitress. The soft and tender emotions from the latter are definitely present here, and the performances from both David and Caroline are wonderful. As the song comes to a close, we’re left with quite a sweet moment. David’s attention to the small details may have caused me to shed a tear or two.
The Space Between is a brand-spanking new modern musical, a delightful three-song package delivered with two striking, heartfelt performances. Social distancing may keep us apart physically, but it can’t keep us from creating. David and Caroline prove that the sky is the limit… or maybe WiFi is, for without it this would have been much harder.
The quote from Gillian Pederson Krag that appears at the start couldn’t be more true; “Art makes life bearable. It isn’t a luxury. Like our capacity for understanding and our experience of love, it is a vitally important part of life.” — With the lockdown putting a close to the West End, the art that we may have once taken for granted is now gone. The choice to escape is gone. For most people, that escape is essential. Looking past that, the cast, crews and creatives that worked on those shows are now in a strange limbo, and they need our help. So please, consider a donation to the Theatre Artists Fund.
The Space Between is available now on YouTube.