5 March 2020

With a play about racism, one never knows what to expect. It’s a bit like what Maria was saying about Lieutenant of Inishmore when it was on: you know it’s meant to be funny, but it’s hard to laugh at the subject matter.

Without giving away more than the promo poster, you’ve got an elderly white guy at death’s door at an NHS hospital and non-white staff, which doesn’t bode well for either side.

I thought the script was very well written with just the right pacing, the set was very creative (with refugee camp at Calais represented by a storage cage), and the acting was top notch. Special kudos to David Keller (the patient) and Lydia Bakelmun (his doctor). I thought maybe the production would feel a bit provincial for lack of a better word, but those two give it a very West End type of sophistication. By the end of the play, you don’t know whether to feel worse for her or for him… the rest of the cast is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s hard to take your eyes off those two.

The writing is extremely clever. The bit of dialogue where the tone of voice is compared to type fonts is brilliant and worth the admission price alone.

A small suggestion costume-wise: boxer shorts (with regular undies under them) is deffo something to consider, as is making some tweaks to the hospital robe, so it holds its shape a bit more. We are already uncomfortable with the subject matter, no need to add to it 🙂

Without giving away some plot twists, there is a cat present (in spirit, not body). When the cat tin was being banged hollering, “Roger, Roger!”, I couldn’t help myself replying with a few tiny meows. But I was quiet, so only the neighbours heard it 🙂

My small criticism of the writing, if any, is the ending. I think it’s meant as an act of kindness, but I can also see how it could be taking as forgiving the offending behaviour….

Cheapskate enjoyment value: £5

It’s in north London, but the theatre is 5 mins from the tube station, and it’s a very short run. It is worth going to see it, I promise.

*Bonus*: Caught the Q&A after the show where the bulk of the conversation was understandably about racism. A woman sat in front of me said, “racism is so ingrained in us, like going to a white cashier before a black one”, an I caught myself thinking, “I just go to the one where the line is shortest” 🙂

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