by Ellie Kendrick
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS to 12 Jan 2019.
Mon-Sat 7.45pm Mat Thu & Sat 3pm
Runs 65 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7565 5000.
Review: William Russell 5 December.
A thrilling encounter with warlike women
Deeply disturbing, for men at least, viciously funny at times and performed with great style by a cast of six this feminist cry of rage by Ellie Kendrick is not really an offering for the season of good will to all men. The cast of six play countless roles, deliver monologues, perform dances, sing songs and swing from trapezes or sink through trapdoors on the floor of the apron stage to who knows what hell below. It opens with a woman trying to tell us something and failing to get the words out before being swallowed by that hole. And so it goes on. Lights flash, spotlights focus on one person, then another, people keep disappearing through the floor. Beside the hole an even bigger on appears, a kind of sink hole rather than a trapdoor. As for the message, one of the songs probably says it all – We’re splitting all the stitches they’re ripping at the seams. We’re a baying band of bitches and we’re drinking all the cream.
Things do get confused and confusing but it is undeniably ambitious and sounds like the voice of the Me2 movement on the march. As for what men did, they tell of Pandora and her box, of Medusa turned into a gorgon, of worlds colliding and a universe expanding to the tick tock of the metronome, of women being forced to do what they did not wish.
The production moves like clockwork, the costumes are striking and it leaves one breathless and, while recognising that a message is being thundered out, not really sure what has been going on, other than that these women have been demonstrating that men no longer will have things their way.
Rubyyy Jones (Rubyyy is correct)
Directors: Helen Goalen & Abbie Greenland.
Designer: Cecile Tranolleres.
Lighting Designer: Ebony Bones.
Sound Designer: Emily Legg.
Costume Supervisor: Ruth Best.
Production Photography: The Other Richard