by Jack Thorne.
Watford Palace Theatre 6-7 September 7.45pm.
TICKETS: 01923 225671.
then Mercury Theatre Colchester 8-11 September 2010.
TICKETS: 01206 573948.
Runs 1hr No interval.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 6 September.
Growing-up in Luton.
Katie simply wanders on in Jack Thorne’s new play, starts talking, and streams consciousness for over 55 minutes. Aged eighteen, she’s so normal: decent GCSEs, OK AS Levels, acceptance by one, lower choice university.
Katie’s 24-year old boy-friend, Abe is Black, she hurriedly adds after other info about him. That clearly affected her parents, Guardian-readers she also hurriedly adds. Fully aware of her home-town Luton’s ethnic distribution, Katie’s expertise never seems to extend cross-border to, say, Dunstable, let alone Hitchin. She has no wider sense of things.
Abe’s chance brush with a cyclist and a teaming-up with mates to take revenge, recounted by Katie and illustrated by computer-generated cartoons, doesn’t halt her glib tongue and unreflective mind, though eventually there seems anxiety beneath her ricochets of thoughts as she recounts Abe’s mate sexually exploiting her, capping his disrespect with the patronising, depersonalising nickname ‘Bunny’.
For she is ordinary, not stupid. And the last few minutes present her with a choice. Meeting the enemy cyclist, who’s her age and university bound, she has a closer conversation with him than any of her allies She knows the decision she’s about to make – to tell or not to tell his whereabouts – will have serious consequences for him, could ruin his life. She’s not yet up to making a decision. But she has started seeing things differently; a new dimension’s been added to her life.
Presented by new writing company Nabakov, with Watford Palace and Colchester Mercury theatres, Joe Murphy’s production gains from Rosie Wyatt’s energetic performance Jumping between thoughts, skittering around events, occasionally finding emphases for trivial realisations, Wyatt’s Katie captures the bright manner, superficial, lively but with neither the sense of building a relationship nor the gang mentality that would give her a circle of friends at school, and not reflecting on why a 24-year old takes her as his girlfriend.
Knowing yet vulnerable, sexually promiscuous but only orally, someone who can barely bother with all the vowels and consonants words keep on throwing-up, in Katie Thorne and Wyatt create a believable example of a young person’s confident surface and underlying vulnerability.
Katie: Rosie Wyatt.
Director: Joe Murphy.
Designer: Hannah Clark.
Lighting: Ric Mountjoy.
Assistant director: Kirsty Patrick Ward.
Illustrations: Jenny Turner.
Video: Ian William Galloway.