Tag Archives: Catherine Cranfield



VAULT Festival 2023

THE NET KILL at the VAULT Festival


The Net Kill

“kills with a witty script that manages to avoid clichés in unexpected and humorous ways”


The Incognito Theatre Company describe The Net Kill as a play about badminton — “the most pointless garden sport ever invented”. But it’s about much more than that, of course. It is a delightful caper about five friends who go on a “quest” to rid the West Country of a fearsome creature who has been slaughtering aristos and yokels alike. They are also hoping to rescue their beloved local pub from permanent closure. These two utterly unrelated events are linked by a lot of rushing about on stage, with badminton racquets. Oh, and shuttlecocks. And a net. Sound like a lot to cram into sixty minutes? Absolutely, but it’s sixty fun filled minutes of impeccably choreographed physical action. The Net Kill also kills with a witty script that manages to avoid clichés in unexpected and humorous ways.

The plot is a comfortable mash up of elements stolen from Sherlock Holmes novels and the Boys Own magazines. Whatever else transpires in this tale, you know the chaps will triumph in the end. They begin by taking on local badminton tournaments with aplomb. Their talent for winning does not go unnoticed by shadowy figures lurking in Queen Victoria’s police force. Soon the team is on its way to Gloucestershire to face a ravenous beastie armed with nothing other than the aforementioned badminton racquets. Are they true blue, upstanding and heroic figures? Like all heroes, they have a few flaws. They cheat a little, it is true; one of their number has a King Arthur complex; another has lycanthropic tendencies as a result of being raised by wolves in Wales. At least one has a megalomaniac desire for aristocratic titles. Yet it is these flaws that allow them to confront the beast without and within.

What sets the script of The Net Kill apart is that each role is clearly defined even though much of the action revolves around ways in which the characters act as a pack. Armed with a script that needs impeccable comic timing, some props and an ironic choice of music ranging from Vivaldi to Led Zeppelin, the company makes the time zip by. In addition, actors Angus Castle-Doughty, Charlie MacVicar, George John, Alex Maxwell and Daniel Whitlam display athletic skills that would put most athletes to shame. If they can keep up this pace without burning out, Incognito Theatre is going places.

Enthusiastically recommended. Even if the heroes of The Net Kill do employ dodgy tactics for winning badminton tournaments.


Reviewed on 7th March 2023

by Dominica Plummer

Vault Festival 2023


More VAULT Festival reviews:


Caceroleo | ★★★★ | January 2023
Cybil Service | ★★★★ | January 2023
Butchered | ★★★★ | January 2023
Intruder | ★★★★ | January 2023
Thirsty | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Kings of the Clubs | ★★★ | February 2023
Gay Witch Sex Cult | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Love In | ★★★★ | February 2023
666 Hell Lane | ★★★ | February 2023
Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name | ★★★★ | February 2023
Patient 4620 | ★★★ | February 2023
It’s A Motherf**king Pleasure | ★★★★ | February 2023
Naked Chats | ★★★★ | February 2023
Caligula And The Sea | ★★½ | March 2023
Fruits | ★★★★★ | March 2023

Click here to read all our latest reviews





Park Theatre



Park Theatre

Reviewed – 20th October 2021



“Hammerton and Champain have fantastic chemistry; their sisterly dynamic highly believable as it fluctuates between highly loving and purposefully antagonistic”


Flushed, the multi award-winning play directed by Catherine Cranfield, is the latest in a line of much needed productions exploring women’s health. We meet two sisters, Jen (Iona Champain) and Marnie (Elizabeth Hammerton), who are best friends. They go on double dates together; they go clubbing together; and they wait nervously on the results of pregnancy tests together. However, when twenty-five-year-old Marnie’s period is late and she is diagnosed with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (a sort of early menopause), the siblings’ relationship is tested as the younger Jen struggles to comfort Marnie appropriately.

A story told against the backdrop of seven different bathrooms from nightclub to flat, Flushed explores the impacts of the rare medical condition and the desire to fulfil one’s ‘womanly’ purpose of having biological children.

Hammerton and Champain have fantastic chemistry; their sisterly dynamic highly believable as it fluctuates between highly loving and purposefully antagonistic. The pair are also dressed in colour matched outfits – pink and black – which connects them visually. Hammerton delivers a particularly powerful monologue about wanting to be pregnant (with a humorous interjection about revelling in the opportunity to pretend she is fat rather than expecting to overfamiliar strangers) and holding her tiny new-born for the first time between her palm and the inside of her elbow. Champain brings a wonderful humour to the play that helps to lighten an otherwise upsetting subject matter.


The set is simple, and it need not be any more complex. The duo makes good use of the sparse space – two toilets about two metres apart and a neon pink sign saying ‘toilets’ on the back wall – with some mimetic techniques such as acting opening the cubicle door upon entrance and exit. Many women would agree that the bathroom space is often identified as a refuge for female heart-to-hearts so this setting – though slightly comical – is completely understandable.

The lighting (Anthony Englezou) moves between pink and black and fades to darkness between each scene. The sound (Oscar Maguire) is well done especially when the sisters are in a club where we hear pounding but muffled music as if there really is a raging party going on next door.

Flushed explores an impressive amount in its sixty-minute run time. Having not heard of POI before last night, I am so pleased that theatre such as this exists to educate both men and women on little known but devastating health conditions. It is also a joy to see such tender sisterhood presented on stage. Cranfield’s production is an absolute pleasure and will no doubt leave most spectators both highly emotional and better educated.



Reviewed by Flora Doble

Photography by Lidia Crisafulli



Park Theatre until 6th November


Previously reviewed at this venue this year:
When Darkness Falls | ★★★ | Park Theatre | August 2021


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