King’s Head Theatre
Reviewed – 2nd May 2018
“Both actors have an ability to really make the audience empathise with their characters and the truth in their performances is beautiful to watch”
The King’s Head Theatre is currently presenting a season of work by female playwrights, in what they say is a “direct response to the under-representation of female voices on stage”. Directed by Helena Jackson, Baby Box, one of the featured plays, explores the relationship of sisters Chloe and Jamie and follows the highs and lows they face from their teens up to their late twenties.
The overall subject matter is quite dark, with the disease endometriosis being at the forefront of the piece. Considering this, Laura McGrady (both writer and actor in the part of Jamie) has done a good job of ensuring that the serious subjects are presented in a sensitive, but light-hearted way, with some engaging, funny lines scattered throughout.
However, some of the most engaging moments in the piece occur not in the comedy, but when the two actors are portraying pain and heartache. Sarah Cullum (Chloe) delivers a powerful performance when she portrays the physical pain associated with endometriosis, as does Laura McGrady when her character opens up about her sexuality. Both actors have an ability to really make the audience empathise with their characters and the truth in their performances is beautiful to watch.
The simple set consists primarily of a bed on wheels, which is used regularly throughout the piece. A lot of the costume changes take place on stage, but occur in a seamless, efficient way. Not once did I feel disengaged from the piece, which has the potential to happen with onstage costume changes.
Sleepless Theatre Company have triumphed in bringing to light subjects which some may consider taboo and have created a touching piece of theatre. We see two sisters face adversities that lead them to reflect upon what it is to be a woman and whether they are conforming to what is considered “normal”. At the heart of the piece is a representation of the unconditional bond and special relationship shared by sisters, albeit tested at times, which is both moving and uplifting to witness.
Reviewed by Emily K Neal
King’s Head Theatre until 6th May