Featured Post

Death becomes her: A Brief List Of Everyone Who Died @finborough

For a natural process, death is not a topic that comes up naturally for people. We ask how people are doing but expect the response to be “I’m great”, not “I’m not dead yet”. And so for the main character in A Brief List of Everyone Who Died, Graciela has a death issue. Starting with when she was five and found out only after the matter that her parents had her beloved dog euthanised. So Graciela decides that nobody she loves will die from then on. And so this piece becomes a fruitless attempt at how she spends her life trying to avoid death while it is all around her. It’s currently having its world premiere  at the Finborough Theatre . As the play title suggests, it is a brief list of life moments where death and life intervene for the main character, from the passing of relatives, cancer, suicides, accidents and the loss of parents. Playwright Jacob Marx Rice plots the critical moments of the lives of these characters through their passing or the passing of those around them. Howeve

Crying, talking, sleeping, walking: Russian Dolls @KingsHeadThtr

The life of two vulnerable women come together and fall apart in Kate Lock's Russian Dolls.

The way the British treat the young and the old is laid bare here. It is a terrific piece full of humour and warmth. But it never lets you forget that that if this is how good it gets for vulnerable adults and young people in this country, then there is plenty more we could be doing.

We are first introduced to Camelia (Mollie Lambert). She has spent most of her life in care and spent time in a young offender institution. She seems keen on getting back there. Afterall there are daily activities, friends and trips to Legoland, so she robs Hilda (Stephanie Fayerman).

Hilda was a foster carer in the past but is now blind and dependent on social services to help her. She mistakes Camelia for her carer. Despite the inauspicious beginning, circumstances bring them back together and they strike up a surprising friendship.

Yet family ties and past history soon become a barrier for both of them. Here it isn't the lack of money thrown at the problem that is the issue, it is more that people just don't care much about either of them.

Lambert and Fayerman bring to life two very different yet strong women who are trapped by their circumstances. For Hilda it is her loss of sight. And although blind, she wants to set past wrongs right by helping Camelia. For Camelia it is a strong draw to her mother and to her friends who draw her into London gang violence.

Lambert is fierce and intense as the troubled Camelia. Her performance is of a woman on the edge holding back a shocking secret. Fayerman is sharp as the independent Hilda. Together they seem well-matched as age and experience comes up against brute force and ignorance. Set in London, a city where people have rioted for fun and gang culture has gone mainstream (albeit with less lethal weapons), it is a believable piece. Here the shocking exploitation that was prevalent in Firebird is not at the forefront here. But you are still left wondering about the future of both of them. And it probably isn't good.

Russian Dolls won the 2015 Adrian Pagan award and plays at the King's Head Theatre until 23 April.


Photos: production photos by Andreas Grieger

Popular posts from this blog

Opera and full frontal nudity: Rigoletto

Fantasies: Afterglow @Swkplay

Ramin Karimloo: the unstoppable beast