Me and my Doll
Reviewed – 1st May 2019
“each joke and comedic line felt forced and didn’t sit well within the overarching narrative”
Moving into the performance space we are greeted by a simple looking set up consisting of standard office furniture, including a desk, lamp and sofa. This initially sets the scene quite clearly for the audience, giving us very basic referential points. The performance then starts with the character Kate (Rachel Baker) who instigates the narrative through performing scenes of her working within an office space, then swiftly moving on to introduce the character Doll (Thomas Bulpett). Doll is introduced to us as an inanimate object that Kate talks to and confides in, but part way through it is revealed that not all is what it seems. The narrative takes us on a journey of Kate and Doll’s relationship and how they grow together after being thrown into a situation without choice.
The story starts to hint at issues of female oppression within the work place and the unrealistic way we all look at love, these contentious elements of life are interesting and have huge depth that could be explored. Unfortunately for Me and my Doll these subjects were hinted at throughout the opening scenes, but they quickly were lost, so we were only given a surface view. This was frustrating for me as I could see the potential impact the performance could have had on the subjects if it had delved deeper. This made the play feel like it had not been fully thought through and thus felt in an early stage of its life. Throughout, real hard-hitting moments were substituted for comedy, this would have been understandable if the comedy element was substantial enough to support the performance but each joke and comedic line felt forced and didn’t sit well within the overarching narrative. It seemed that comedy was used as a way of trying to hide the script’s shortfalls, and this was a true shame.
Summing up the production as a whole it feels that it needs further development to fully understand itself, at the moment there are too many mixed messages coming through from the conflicting comedy and social commentary. The piece has potential due to its unconventional narrative, but this can only work if it is made clear what it is trying to achieve, as at the moment it is, to me, unfortunately just reinforcing gender stereotypes through representing female oppression and the need for a man’s/doll’s love.
Reviewed by Laurie Wilson
Photography by Neil Reading
Me and my Doll
The Space until 4th May
Last ten shows reviewed at this venue: