With a cast of four - a ‘feminist’, an ‘apathetic misanthropist’, a ‘socialist’ and a ‘reputable gentleman’ – the piece explores the human tendency to latch on to causes and ‘isms’, and shows the dangers of allowing ourselves to be pigeonholed into roles we perhaps don’t quite fit.
The resultant hypocrisy is the underlying theme of the play, and the dialogues and interactions between the characters are witty and funny – if however a little wordy. Relationships – past and present – between the main characters are examined, but the main storyline is the unfinished business of the relationship between Nicole (Skye Lucas-Banks) and Damian (the gorgeous Tom Nickalls). The on-stage chemistry between Nicole and Damian was very believable and added a real spark to the play.
This is the writing and directorial debut of the author Tamara Barnett, and what a talent she appears to be – this is a cleverly written story and the irony of the notion of hypocrisy being prevalent in adult lives due to our wanting to be labelled is well thought out.
Minor criticisms are that all the characters are the privileged middle-class ex-student breed, so the play may alienate some other audiences, as I felt it made the characters slightly manufactured and unreachable. This is perhaps a limitation of Barnett’s own social boundaries but for a first play it is a great achievement and I look forward to her future works. I would also have liked to see the character of Conrad (Peter Clapp) explored more.
The cast and performances were very good, even though it was hard to believe some of the characters had just left Uni, let alone been 10 years or more out of it! In summary then – a clever, witty and thoughtful play, with good casting and some great cameos – do catch it if you can.