Reviewed – 6th June 2019
“wonderfully throws a humorous and uncomfortable mirror up to society’s failure to engender a sense of responsibility”
If you’ve never been to the Hope Theatre, I recommend you pay it a visit. Based in Islington and part of the pub-theatre tradition, it has a lovely, intimate theatre space; drawing the audience right into the action of any production. The staff, at the Hope are also incredibly friendly which only adds to the enjoyable ambience of the venue.
Written by Ollie George Clark, this play set about tackling the culture of ‘apology’ – or the failure to do it earnestly – in a very articulate and multifaceted way. It begins in a publicist’s office with staff frantically fire-fighting the damage caused by the colourful language of one their clients. We watch as their discussion of how to cultivate a heart-felt apology descends into sinister realms.
Many aspects of this production stood out – from the fine detail of the props such as the incredibly realistic newspaper articles and décor (Caitlin Abbott) to the female led cast, with Maisie Preston’s performance of Danica as a deeply insecure, happy go lucky intern, being of particular joy to watch. These roles are meaty and complex; with each character highlighting the different dynamics women have with each other and how they have to navigate that with the outside world – in this instance, the acting industry. The idea of race was also highlighted both within the play and aesthetically. It was really gratifying to see actress Natasha Patel (who plays Ruchi) on stage performing with savvy assuredness, Patel’s presence reflected both the importance of inclusivity of casting whilst simultaneously illuminating the lack of it within the industry.
Cuttings touches upon a very ripe and tender nerve about the way social media influences our everyday communication, and not always for the better. How YouTube beefs have now become newsworthy topics, how popularity trumps talent, the exploitative monetising of mental health and the unconventional rise of the insta-celeb which threatens the decorum of the well-oiled theatrical establishment.
When the simple act of apologising becomes an act of war; this play wonderfully throws a humorous and uncomfortable mirror up to society’s failure to engender a sense of responsibility.
Reviewed by Pippin
Photography by Cam Harle
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