Review: Pink, Women, Power and Politics at the Tricycle

The fourth play of the Now half of Women, Power and Politics season at the Tricycle Theatre

“It never ceases to surprise me that the critics are usually women”

Pink is set in the green room of a television studio as Kim Keen is preparing to launch a new product line. She is a hugely successful businesswoman but when she receives an unexpected visit from an equally powerful woman Bridget, with a completely different agenda, there’s a faceoff between the two and huge decisions to be made, with the clock ticking away the minutes until Kim is live on air.

The clash between these two formidable women was just electric, each with their own prejudices about the other and what they do and how these perceptions inform so much of our interactions with people. Looking back, this was perfectly exemplified in Amy Loughton’s brief cameo as a production assistant going through the questions for Keen’s television appearance with a barely disguised disdain, the reason for which only becomes apparent once we know just what it is that Kim is promoting.

Spoiler alert here: I can’t talk any more about the play without revealing who the women are, so look away now if you don’t want to know just yet. Kim is a former pornstar, turned producer and controller of a vast empire of porn products and erotica, and she’s about to launch a latex version of her vagina as a sex toy! And Bridget, well she just happens to be the Prime Minister, on damage control as her husband has bought one of the toys and she’s looking to prevent it becoming public knowledge, but she also has much more wide-reaching ideas which could affect Kim hugely.

Stella Gonet’s Bridget was superbly played, a pragmatic woman who fully accepts the role pornography plays in her husband’s life, just as she accepts the strains that her being in a much more powerful position put on their marriage (‘I can’t kiss him in public’) and startlingly visionary in her proposals for the ways in which the pornographic industry could be developed. This was contrasted with Heather Craney’s brilliantly cold Kim, fiercely ambitious, money obsessed, a woman who had seized control in a man’s industry but maintained her position by acting just as the men who previously controlled her did, unable or unwilling to take responsibility for the women she left behind and simply, greedily, viewing the huge business opportunities.

Pink was a brilliantly tense half hour of drama, packed full of suspense and twists and genuinely exciting. I also really admired the way Sam Holcroft really pushed our expectations and really committed to promoting a discussion about a topic that is rarely openly debated, even providing a potential solution which sounded credible to me.

Running time: 25 minutes

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