Review: Kites, VAULT Festival

Irish company LipZinc Theatre bring the skittish Kites to the VAULT Festival

“We can always just make a new one”

Tzarini Meyler’s Kites proves a slightly odd experience in the echoing chamber of the Cage. A rites of passage drama set in post-WWII Ireland, it follows the friendship between two young girls and unpacks the impact of the personal and societal trauma of the age on them both, tracking how that unfolds as the years go by.

Kitty is from Cork and Angel is a refugee from Spain and as their kites get tangled up in the sky one afternoon, so too do their lives become enmeshed. They swap dreams of flying like Peter Pan and space travels and soon graduate to sharing cigarettes and tips on walking in heels and as they grow up, that damage comes increasingly to bear, testing their relationship to its limit.

Ideas of childhood play resonate strongly throughout but whilst this is a neat conceit, the execution leaves the production feeling tonally unsure. Evocations of girlishness are overstated, so that it feels childish at times, rather than child-like. And the use of a narrator through voiceover is similarly overdone, at odds with how dark the story gets at times.

Meyler (Kitty) and Ana Canals (Angel) offer up interesting work, especially around the emotional complexities of childhood trauma but as it currently stands, the play doesn’t offer them enough depth of character to escape both national and gender stereotypes. A work in progress perhaps.

Running time: 60 minutes (without interval)
Photo: Juan Sánchez
Kites is booking at VAULT Festival until 12th March

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