If you are looking for some mid-week entertainment I highly recommend going to see Bunny – first of all this is great pub, ideal for dinner and drinks with friends, a couple of minutes walk from Kennington tube station and this brilliant play is 60 minutes long, really manageable for on a weekday night.
And the play is really really good. I like things that make me think, and Bunny did that, at every twist and turn. In this one man show, Catherine Lamb stars as Katie, an 18 year old living in Luton and in her last year of school. Katie plays the clarinet in the orchestra, and has been applying to university – the first girl in her family to go to university – and she has also recently acquired a boyfriend. Older than her, her boyfriend Abe works in Luton, grew up on a nearby council estate Marsh Farm and her Guardian reading parents are not altogether convinced by him. The story takes place one sticky Summer afternoon after school, when Katie, quite by accident finds herself in the back of a car with two of Abe’s male ‘friends’ chasing a boy on a bike through the council estate Marsh Farm.
Catherine Lamb is completely gripping as Katie, I couldn’t keep my eyes off her, waiting to find out what choice she will make next. We follow the narrative of what is happening via Katie’s thoughts – and she has a lot of them. She bounces and leaps across the stage, this way and that, with a dilapidated sofa chair as her main prop, telling us the story, and we are with her every step of the way. Occasionally she digresses away from the current story to tell us about her life, and these insights add an interesting depth and element to the flow of the main story.
She is not a loveable character, she is brash and loud and doesn’t think too much before she thinks. Sometimes she is very very aware of what consequence her actions will have, sometimes she thinks she is in control of the situation and later realises she is in far too deep, and at other time she is hugely vulnerable. She has the naivety of an 18 year old girl who also thinks she is street wise but definitely isn’t, and whose parents are completely out of touch of what the world is like for young people her age.
It was a really terrific play, and watching it in a small theatre was a real treat. I felt as though I was there with her in Luton, experiencing the events pan out with her, judging her choices, but also wondering that, if I had been 18 and in her situation, would I have reacted differently and made different choices?
Definitely do go and see it, it’s a great experience and perfect for a weekday night.
And if you are wondering where you have heard the name Jack Thorne before – he is the writer of Harry Potter & The Cursed Child and also of the TV series Skins.
Images courtesy of Dashti Jahfa