Tag Archives: Gillian King

The Millennials: Battle of Perspectives
★★½

Pleasance Theatre

The Millennials

The Millennials: Battle of Perspectives

Pleasance Theatre

Reviewed – 20th May 2019

★★½

 

“there were a lot of good ideas in the making, but the execution missed the mark”

 

The term ‘millennial’ conjures up so many stereotypes – tech-obsessed, avocados instead of houses, supposed disillusionment with capitalist consumerism whilst still lusting after Yeezy trainers and the latest iPhone. Regardless, this is an entire generation, the first to grow up with the internet, social media, ubiquitous advertising, and the free market. They have a lot to say, and ‘Black Cat Theatre’ wants to give them the platform to say it.

Jon Long, our ‘host’ for the evening, potters on to the stage to his own announcement of himself, with a tiny guitar and lovely little ditty about what not to recycle (dead cats, dildos, grenades, more dildos). I say ‘host’ because whilst this is how he’s introduced to us, this is his only stage time all evening. Nevertheless, he successfully warms the crowd, and we’re ready and waiting for an evening of equally endearing and engaging acts.

The set is left behind from a zombie/haunted house show – a skeleton in a wig lays conspicuously along a staircase – but after a while, you quite forget and the few props used for each sketch override the wonky walls and boarded-up windows.

The sketches themselves feel a little amateur. Of course, they’re all works in progress so we’re not expecting anything too polished, but perhaps a little exploration would be nice. The opening act for example, ‘When Mum Swipes Right’ (Thomas J. Misuraca) is about a son (Alex Di Cuffa) walking in on his mum (Gillian King) enjoying a Tinder ‘hook-up’ (Ross Townsend Green), but that’s pretty much the whole sketch explained – the content only goes as far as to explain the pitch.

There are some ideas that, given a little more time, might progress to something of more interest- ‘Pucker Up’ (Sam Rogg), for example, discusses the daily struggle of women’s contraception. The subject is compelling and often left unremarked upon, and there’s room for a lot of comedy, but the sketch itself felt very educational – as though it might be touring a secondary school (not a bad idea, mind.)

One sketch did buck the trend, presenting a satire of a woman’s attempt to succeed in our current climate. ‘Some Necessary Measures’ (Rebekah King) sees Kosha Engler attempt to get to the top floor of a building, but on every floor, she must stop and check in with a new concierge (Mike Archer) who requires more and more absurd sacrifices on her part in order to allow her to proceed. Whilst it did feel a little on the nose, the comic timing was brilliant, and the story well told.

All in all there were a lot of good ideas in the making, but the execution missed the mark. Devorah Wilde and Alex Di Cuffa, the pair behind ‘Black Cat Theatre’ have done well in providing a platform for new ideas, but, cruel as it sounds, they’re perhaps a little too encouraging where they might be more discerning.

 

Reviewed by Miriam Sallon

 


The Millennials: Battle of Perspectives

Pleasance Theatre

 

Previously reviewed at this venue:
Spiked | ★★★★ | April 2018
A Gym Thing | ★★★★ | May 2018
Bingo | ★★★ | June 2018
Aid Memoir | ★★★ | October 2018
One Duck Down | ★★★★★ | October 2018
The Archive of Educated Hearts | ★★★★ | October 2018
Call Me Vicky | ★★★ | February 2019
Neck Or Nothing | ★★★★ | April 2019
Night Of The Living Dead Live | ★★★ | April 2019
Don’t Look Away | ★★★½ | May 2019

 

Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com

 

Alternativity

Alternativity
★★★★

Hope Theatre

Alternativity

Alternativity

Hope Theatre

Reviewed – 9th December 2018

★★★★

“a clever hour of disguised thoughtfulness which lands with tight performances and commitment”

 

It’s not a new idea to wonder how the birth of Jesus would have occurred in modern-day Britain, what is new is to approach that question with humour, quick wit and some subtle seriousness. Timothy Blore’s one-hour production is a re-telling of the nativity story where year zero Bethlehem is swapped for 2018 Billericay (think “there’s no room at the inn, the Holiday Inn”) and, whilst it consists almost entirely of nose-tapping references and snappy one-liners, does manage to land as a substantive critique of the moralising upper middle class of this country.

We open with a family of four playing Trivial Pursuit and a sharpened script driving a worryingly accurate portrayal of a mid-life Christmas with grown-ish children. Banter flies across the board as Linda and Michael (Gillian King and Chris Pickles) lead their family in what many in the young audience would recognise as a harrowingly accurate portrayal of being simultaneously berated with and embarrassed by your parents’ experience, knowledge and lifestyle. Matthew (Jack Forsyth Noble) and Luke (Jonathan Savage) are recognisable but not stereotyped; they are young men looking to establish themselves without actually rebelling against their life of plenty. The payload of the show is delivered in the last half an hour as Maria (Bella Nash) and Joe (Clemente Lohr) arrived after being made homeless, and ask if they can sleep inside, only to be placed in the shed.

A serious theme is smuggled to the audience inside the banter and references, giving the solid foundation necessary for the joking not to seem frivolous and self-aggrandising. But the message is simple and summed up most memorably with “you must live on cloud Corbyn if you think we’re going to let a couple of gypos stay”. A great script was delivered well by the entire cast ably directed by Scott le Crass. The rehearsal and thought that had clearly gone into the show led to both clarity and great amusement.

At times the piece serves the clever references of the writer, not the other way around but it’s hard to care when there is such fun and wit scattered throughout. Ultimately, Alternativity is a clever little show full of disguised thoughtfulness which lands with tight performances and commitment on stage and off.

 

Reviewed by William Nash

Photography by Amanda Urvall Nyrén 

 


Alternativity

Hope Theatre until 17th December

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Adam & Eve | ★★★★ | May 2018
Worth a Flutter | ★★ | May 2018
Cockamamy | ★★★★ | June 2018
Fat Jewels | ★★★★★ | July 2018
Medicine | ★★★ | August 2018
The Dog / The Cat | ★★★★★ | September 2018
The Lesson | ★★★★ | September 2018
Jericho’s Rose | ★★★½ | October 2018
Gilded Butterflies | ★★ | November 2018
Head-rot Holiday | ★★★★ | November 2018

 

Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com