The fifth play in the Now half of Women, Power and Politics season at the Tricycle Theatre
“It’s like choosing between three turds”
In a council house in a small depressed Leicestershire town, a large family is going about their daily business, Vincent’s skiing on the Wii, Sheila’s feeding her granddaughter McKenzie, and Kerry’s getting on with the ironing. None of them are planning on voting in the election, but when Selina Snow, the local Labour Party candidate rings the doorbell to canvas, she sets about trying to change their minds but as the conversation flows and the revelations come, it looks more like they will change hers.
You Me and Wii is full of witty jokes, the Russell Brand/kettle quip was brilliant, the multiple family relations nicely sketched and the tensions of the working life of a constituency MP with London childcare needs were nicely conveyed, the only criticism would be that there was just so much packed in there, that the half hour running time didn’t allow for a full unfurling of the stories. Kerry’s awakening is necessarily fairly abrupt, Vincent’s war trauma is tantalizingly brushed on, the awful truth about Courtney’s pregnancy unexamined, there’s the makings of a full length play in here as all the characters seem to have interesting histories.
Across the board the acting is strong, Kika Markham brings a weary life of experience to her razor-sharp great-grandmother who has seen countless MPs and governments overseeing the collapse of society in towns like theirs with the loss of the industries that employed so much of the local population; Heather Craney excels as the frustrated Kerry, over-run by the needs of her family at the expense of her own self-fulfillment and Claire Cox is also good as the career politician, getting a real taste of what life is like down on the ground.
But as with all these plays, the minor parts are also beautifully well observed, here John Hollingworth as the obnoxious party aide Mark, trying to spin a story out of the events and not paying any attention to the people whose home he is in, comes close to stealing the show with just a few lines.