Tag Archives: Zoe Templeman–Young

Take Care

Take Care


VAULT Festival 2020

Take Care

Take Care

Network Theatre

Reviewed – 11th March 2020



“it’s going to make you feel something, which is exactly what theatre should do”


Every time I see a verbatim show, I wonder why everyone isn’t doing it all the time. Beside the fact that it gives you ready-made dialogue, for some reason taking something seemingly ordinary that someone has said casually in conversation, with every mispronunciation, repetition and hesitation, and reframing it on stage immediately elevates it to excellence. This is exactly the point for Take Care, as directed by Zoe Templeman-Young, whose aim is to give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves.

Everyone in the cast has either been a carer or a professional within the care work industry, and they have all seen first-hand the difficulty of giving someone the care they need, made all the more trying by over a decade of budget cuts and broken promises from the government.

We hear first-hand accounts from across the board: people in care, people taking care of family members, people taking care of strangers, nurses, safety training specialists, carer support charity workers, and so on, and whilst these accounts are interspersed with overhead snippets from lying politicians, for the most part the message is delivered with as much subtlety as possible, allowing people’s experiences to speak for themselves.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. We also hear about people’s love of caring, either for someone they know or someone they don’t, and we hear about the joy of it too. On being asked why she would want to take care of her elderly mother, one woman answers, “Old people can be fucking hilarious.”

With very little by way of production or design, besides a bunch of chairs and a few bits and pieces scattered about the stage (a cup of coffee, a lampshade, a Christmas tree), the script and performances speak for themselves. A cast of only four portrays a number of characters each, and with only the use of cravat or a jacket, they are completely transformed, embodying an entirely different person.

There is an idea that a strong argument must be made without emotion; must be entirely objective. Take Care takes quite the opposite tact, showing that personal experience is the argument. You can look at statistics and financial benefits, but at the end of the day, a government’s legislation affects real people, and they deserve to be heard.
Regardless of your political standing, this show will make you angry, either because old people and people in need have been seemingly cast aside by the government, or because you don’t think that’s the case and despite having watched a bunch of first-hand accounts, you have something different to say about it. Regardless, it’s going to make you feel something, which is exactly what theatre should do.



Reviewed by Miriam Sallon


VAULT Festival 2020



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Breathe – 3.5 Stars



Lion & Unicorn Theatre

Reviewed – 1st February 2018


“a promising script with a capable cast”


Breathe, written and directed by Lucrezia Pollice, tells the story of Maria, an aspiring writer in her twenties, who spends her days working in a cafe and battling her mental health issues. The play takes place in the flat which Maria shares with her friends, Eddie and Rachel. There’s also Maria’s troubled friend, Sophie, who, to the annoyance of Eddie and Rachel, frequently crashes at the flat. The play centres around the relationships between Eddie, Rachel, and Maria, in particular how Eddie and Rachel deal with Maria’s depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

The acting is good overall. Peter Silva (Eddie) and Olivia Valler-Feltham (Rachel) are convincing as the well-meaning, but exhausted housemates trying to help their self-destructive friend. Zoe Templeman-Young (Maria) gives an authentic performance as a young woman battling her demons. Tamzin Murray plays Maria’s brash and irritating friend, Sophie, and does an admirable job with this difficult character.

Unfortunately, the audience missed a great deal of the acting as it was often difficult to see the actors. Much of the action takes place on a sofa towards the front of the stage which, unless you are in the front row, is very difficult to see.

The best part about Breathe is the story. Stories about mental health often focus on the impact on families or partners – it is less common to see a story like this, one about the effect on housemates and friends. Unfortunately, the original concept is not enough to make this a strong script. The dialogue is, for the most part, natural and engaging, but there’s a lack of structure which makes it difficult to follow the story.

Another element which lets down the thought-provoking story is the lighting and sound. Many scenes are extremely short and almost all end with a jarring blackout. This, coupled with the use of projections, make the play feel more like a short film than a piece of theatre. That being said, there are instances where the projections work well and add to the story, but the style is inconsistent, which is distracting. As for the music, the songs chosen seem to have no clear connection to the story. Sometimes it seems as if the music is intended to show the passage of time, for example several Christmas songs are played towards the end, but no mention of Christmas is made by the characters.

Overall, this is a promising script with a capable cast; the structure and staging simply need more work to make it the play the story deserves.


Reviewed for thespyinthestalls.com



Lion & Unicorn Theatre until 2nd February



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