Life and Laundry is an exploration of the phenomenon of an adult life not living up to expectations, and of course it is both a comedy and a drama. In between the dramatic scenes Kate attends singing lessons with her kind, insightful, but ultimately distant teacher, and in these she regales the audience with powerful and relevant songs.
Amazingly this was the play's debut show, and despite considerable scepticism on my part, I must say that it was an unmitigated success. I’m not just trying to sound supportive of a new play; this really was a great piece of theatre: if you don’t believe me ask my mum, who I assure you is not an easily impressed woman.
The acting, especially of all the supporting characters, was top notch throughout; from the coolly condescending, but not unkind therapist, to the boisterous but astute lady on the train (played, by the way, by the playwright Chris Oram). Each character was vivid and unique despite some having limited stage time.
The songs, beautifully performed by Grace Sita Mountain, were well chosen and well delivered, and provided effective scene changes without feeling tacked on in the least.
Most importantly however Life and Laundry rang true. The dialogue was natural and believable, and was delivered with perfect timing and feeling. It raised issues that were familiar yet personal, and did so while conveying diverse, compelling and distinct characters. The characters, especially all the older female ones, were so true that that they must be based on real people, and will raise a grin of familiarity in everyone who has the pleasure of seeing this play.
Life and Laundry is no wash out, and you should defiantly give it a spin. It is the kind of play I can see become part of the GCSE syllabus. It runs until September 5th, and it would be a tragedy if it was hung out to dry.