King’s Head Theatre
Reviewed – 25th April 2018
“the physical use of space helped the pace of the script match the range of emotions spilling across the stage”
Tonight’s ‘Tumble Tuck’ is the opening show in the ‘Who Runs The World?’ season at the King’s Head Theatre, showcasing female playwrights from now until May 12th, and what a brilliant way to start!
I am a singularly uncompetitive person. The more pressure applied, the less interest I have in the outcome. This has never endeared me to team sports, I prefer to walk for miles and enjoy the view, or swim alone for lengths, clearing my mind, meditating, and making my body stronger. So arriving in a minimalist studio to the sounds of a lapping pool with dappled blue lights made me feel very at home.
Daisy, played by playwright Sarah Milton, also likes to swim, but she is on the verge of medal. She understands she needs to work hard, she knows what is required of her, she’s OK with the idea of winning because it is an uncomplicated concept. It isn’t quite so simple for her to reconcile ‘doing your best’ with ‘being the best’, especially as she’s a little confused and a lot undecided about what ‘success’ may actually be.
There is no set, no cast beyond Daisy and very few props. The audience is on three sides of the stage where the storytelling unfolds through the blunt, funny, and honest recollection of memories, and re-enacted conversations that are both hilarious yet simultaneously heartbreaking. This strong, brave performance carefully reveals the events of Daisy’s life and slowly weaves them together.
As Daisy becomes more aware of the world around her, she wonders more about success. In sport and in life. Past experiences and present challenges can be elusive things to conquer, and perhaps not always as important as participation, or happiness.
In a very personal and bare space the lighting (Rory Beaton) and sound (Harry Blake) help to set an atmosphere that prevented Daisy’s narrative from ever seeming stark, and the physical use of space helped the pace of the script match the range of emotions spilling across the stage.
I found writer/performer, Sarah Milton both confident and engaging as a young woman trying to make sense of relationships and responsibilities. She captured the audience from the very beginning and ended with a standing ovation.
Touching on childhood friendships, mother-daughter relationships, first love, trust and rivalry, this show will resonate with anyone who remembers how confusing and complicated growing up can be.
Reviewed by Joanna Hinson
Photography by Scott Rylander
King’s Head Theatre until 12th May
Written by Sarah Milton