Review: Turkey, Hope Theatre

“If that’s how much it costs to have a baby…?”

It’s a bold move to put a character as flawed as Madeline front and centre in your debut play; still more to not give her the kind of redemption arc that conventional wisdom suggests we crave in our drama. So Frankie Meredith’s Turkey reveals itself as a nifty piece of writing, developed from a true family story in a Soho Young Writers Lab exercise in 2015 and now premiering at the ever-welcoming Hope Theatre.

At first it doesn’t seem that way. We meet Madeline in the afterglow of a passionate vodka-fuelled night with Toni, adamant she’s not a lesbian – she has a boyfriend she’s cheating on after all – but soon entwined in a full-blown relationship. Fast-forward to moving in together and squabbling over which organic vegetables to buy, the focus of the play soon emerges as Madeline’s unstoppable desire to have a baby becomes the dominant force in their lives. Continue reading “Review: Turkey, Hope Theatre”

Review: Hunger, E5 Bakehouse

“It’s been quite a while since I’ve had as ample a meal as this”

Starting off with a short reading from Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and ending with an outrageously generous two course meal, it is clear that Hobo Theatre’s Hunger is doing things slightly differently. Although that is clear from the outset as their production is hosted in the flour-dusted, characterful surroundings of the E5 Bakehouse, a top artisan bakery tucked away in a railway arch by London Fields. So the ingredients for a pretty tasty evening of theatre have all been put into place and if the proof is in the eating, well this is a great success.

Knut Hamsun’s 1890 novel Hunger is regarded a classic of modern literature in its tale of a writer’s determination to maintain artistic purity in the pursuit of his career even as it leads him into a life of impoverished starvation. Jamie Harper’s adaptation is really rather ingenious though, condensing the book into 75 minutes or so and doubling up on the way it doubles. Which is to say two actors take on many roles as the various people the writer meets on his journey, and then the other two both play the writer, his self becoming increasingly fractured as hunger drives him to desperation. Continue reading “Review: Hunger, E5 Bakehouse”