Reviewed – 3rd December 2017
“a great variety of work on offer”
Black Cat Theatre offered up an assortment of Christmas themed treats in their Millennials showcase. Charting the perils of boozing, bedding, family values and other tortures there was a great variety of work on offer.
As with all shows of this nature, it was a bit of a mixed bag. There were some real gems – notably “Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Whine” by Rhiannon Owens and “NPBD” (No Porn before Dawn) by Alexandria MacLeod. Owens’ piece was warm and funny, with some stinging observations on millennial life, while MacLeod showcased some cutting, yet hilarious insights into man’s relationship with porn. My favourite piece of the evening was Jack Gogarty & Joe Morrow’s ‘A Look at Bedtime’, a romantic yet unsentimental and witty tale of two new fathers. Performed by the writers, this is clearly a partnership to keep an eye out for. However some of the other pieces felt clunky and uneven. “Lonely this Christmas” had heart but the script was uncoordinated, saved by the strength of Abby Wilson and Alex Di Cuffa’s touching performances. There was also the macabre “Season’s Greetings”, that while energetically performed, seemed to lose sight of its own story.
The entire evening was elevated by some lively performances. Lauren Cooney was an exciting blast of energy in the second half, while Rob Leach was a loveable slob. Devora Wilde and Jonathan Jude in “After” elevated what was an overly verbose post break up conflict, into a gripping, sexy and very funny showdown. Olivia Thompson was a spirited start to the show and Max Cavenham lifted the opening of the second half. The night was far from perfect, but with shows like this, a certain element of the rough and ready is to be expected and across the board, the cast did themselves proud.
My main concern about the evening wasn’t so much in the content, more in the concept. For a Christmas themed showcase entitled Millennials, there was little consistency in the pieces. Not all reflected millennial issues, nor were written by millennial writers. There was (and granted this was not deliberate), a notable lack of diversity in the performers and crew. I think this is an exciting and talented young company, but I don’t know what their agenda is or the type of theatre that they want to represent. I would love to see them find a stronger tone of voice because I think once they decide upon their identity, they could accomplish great work. I will certainly be keeping them on my radar.
Reviewed for thespyinthestalls.com
was at the Southwark Playhouse