From fast-rising Channel 4 Playwright Clara Brennan comes a hilarious, pan-generational call to arms for our modern age.
Spine charts the explosive friendship between a ferocious, wisecracking teenager and an elderly East End widow. Mischievous activist pensioner Glenda is hell-bent on leaving a political legacy and saving Amy from the Tory scrapheap because ‘there’s nothing more terrifying than a teenager with something to say’.
In this era of damaging coalition cuts and disillusionment, has politics forgotten people? Can we really take the power back? Amy is about to be forced to find out.
There’s something about a well scripted and performed monologue that can be immensely powerful and intense and Brennan’s play manages to be both of these things whilst also being incredibly funny. Rosie Wyatt’s Amy is initially an unsympathetic character with an accent and pattern of speech like nails on a blackboard and a strutting, angry demeanour. The skill in both the script and the acting lies in making the viewer warm to and believe in the changes that take place in Amy, in spite of her bad points.
The Soho Theatre is a great space for this play with the small space crammed with teetering piles of books. I laughed a lot and almost didn’t notice that the play was delivering a message about apathy in an age when we’re challenged and tricked into thinking that we should be grateful for what we have. And keep quiet. There’s a touch of the 1970s classic film Harold and Maud about the play: eccentric pensioner and off the rails teenager learn from each other.
Kudos to Rosie Wyatt too for telling an audience member off for using her phone during the play, whilst remaining in character. She’s a woman after my own heart.
Spine runs until: Tue 21 Oct – Sun 2 Nov, 7.15pm. Matinees: Sat 2.30pm, Sun 5.30pm
Buy tickets here: http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/spine
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.