Care Not, Fear Naught
Bridewell Lunchbox Theatre
Reviewed – 20th June 2018
“Despite the exploration of Anne Bonny’s intentions and feelings, the play seems to lack depth in some places”
In the face of cruelty and exclusion, Anne Bonny chooses the path of defiance. Mirroring Joan of Arc, she is driven by her own understanding of right and wrong and an insurmountable desire for freedom. Anne, who is based on a real 18th century person, becomes one of the most notorious pirates of her time, and not only because she is a woman.
The fast-paced account of her life is supported by a comparatively large cast whose rhythmic movement and speech make the play an almost musical experience. As a group the actors are brilliant, showing several actions at once or expressing the multitude of feelings a character has at the same moment. Like an audience that knows the story already and is eager to hear the ending, the chorus intervenes, answers and adds, creating a multitude of different voices and opinions.
Despite the exploration of Anne Bonny’s intentions and feelings, the play seems to lack depth in some places, especially regarding the idea of female pirates which could have incited such a relevant discussion. In addition to that, there were too many clichés used for my taste, especially with regards to the music. The dialogue, too, seemed a bit too modern regarding the historical setting. Even though it was sometimes difficult to understand the actors, the use of sound was generally good, with for example the sound of waves helping to create a sense of the setting on an otherwise minimalist stage. However, some motifs, such as Bonny’s mantra ‘I care not,’ lacked conviction, feeling repetitive rather than tying the story together.
Nevertheless, the play is an interesting glance at one of history’s lesser known pirates. Despite some issues with the script, it is powerful thanks to its choreography and Emily Hutt’s direction. Anne Bonny chooses chaos over law to achieve freedom at any cost. Similarly, the play uses layering, both in its movement and text, to create as wide a picture as possible.
Reviewed by Laura Thorn
Care Not, Fear Naught
Bridewell Lunchbox Theatre until 22nd June