Billy The Girl

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Mothers. Daughters. Sisters. The complicated relationship between female relatives is what Katie Hims new play, a commission by Clean Break theatre company (a company that explore females and the justice system), is all about. Joanna Scotcher's set was inspired, a caravan sat in the crowded back garden of a small house, the back door and garden gate on either side. The clutter and randomness of the objects in the garden and caravan perfectly mirror the intensity of the relationship between Ingrid (Christine Entwisle) and her daughters Billy (Danusia Samal) and Amber (Naomie Ackie), while the fact that the whole piece is set outside in the garden speaks volumes about the strains on the relationship.

Tension crackles between mum Ingrid and Billy, the foul mouthed, wayward daughter back after another spell in prison and determined to change her life via focusing her energies into healthy living and running a marathon, although definitely not for a cancer charity. Ingrid's desperation to be loved has been something that has driven a wedge between herself and her mum and although it is Ingrid who says Billy has a bit of false memory syndrome, the audience gets the feeling that actually, when it comes to her succession of boyfriends, Billy is the one who is spot on.

The accents are just the right side of working class to give a does of 'salt of the earth' realism without being over exaggerated or offensive. Newcomer Naomie Ackie shone as the adorable, not entirely innocent 'angel' Amber, who just wants to bring her family back together and has all the innocent idealism and teenage rebellion of your average 15 year old.

When the 75 minute show finished I thought it was an interval; it felt way too soon, I felt as though I were just beginning to see a breakthrough in this tentative, volatile family. But I guess that's the best way to leave an audience - wanting more, brimming with hope or dread or both.
Oh and there's also an inspired use of a bear costume. Kinda worth going just to see what they get up to with that.

Billy The Girl shows at the Soho Theatre until the 24th November

1 comment:

  1. Im loving your reviews babe! Went to see Crowning Glory last night cos of you! This is next on my list x