Pros: Plenty of laughter and though all pieces were good, it’s worth going along just for ‘Take A Look At Me Now’.
Cons: The final narrative underwent a dramatic change of gear and felt out of place amongst the other stories. Having brought the laughter to fever pitch, it seemed a shame to burst the bubble at the end.
Ladylogue! is a series of six wildly different monologues written by women and is being performed at the Tristan Bates as part of the Camden Fringe.
We have a variety of situations and age brackets on stage but we are first introduced to a love-struck teenager who is baking a birthday cake for the boy she is smitten with. Oh those teenage years! How we would spend every waking moment analysing every move, facial expression and utterance of the one we so desired. Surely every woman recalls those times with a cringe? Rhiannon Story brings it all back as she deftly captures that adolescent fusion of angst and energy.
The second piece, entitled Candyman, is about a woman who pays for the service of an escort. Coy at first, she quickly gets attached to him and finds she cannot cope with the concept that it’s just a job for an out-of-work actor with a girlfriend.
Coconut was a humorous take on dating and ethnicity. Specifically, the issues of trying to please a traditional family and their fixed expectations, with the outlook of a younger generation brought up with westernised influences. Sukh Ojla had the audience in stitches with her tales of speed-dating trials and the Halal Dating Agency.
Jane Edwards gave a more poignant performance as someone making an audition tape to be considered for some type of weight loss programme. Her façade of a jolly, up-beat personality shows cracks and vulnerability as she responds to the set questionnaire. The monologue is a carefully performed balance of humour and pain.
Take A Look At Me Now had to be the show stopper of the evening. Danielle Nott plays a young woman having an intimate evening in with Phil Collins. The only problem is that the only Phil Collins present is his image on an album cover. Nevertheless, she has planned the whole event down to the tiniest detail. To say much more would spoil the fun but there were audible snorts of laughter throughout. The giggles even continued as the set changed for the final act.
Amanda Reed took us to a completely different level with I Would Be Brave. This is a lady preparing to go into hospital for tests to determine whether she has cancer and talks of how her husband is dealing with the prospect. There’s also a parallel plot of a neighbouring couple in a violent relationship with the wife trying to make a break. It’s a rapid change of gear after an evening of mostly laughter. The change is even more dramatic following the Phil Collins piece and felt a little out of place amongst the other works. A good piece of writing but after the preceding pieces, it felt like an unexpected kick to the stomach.
Authors: Maud Dromgoole, Tina Jay, Guleraana Mir, Katie McCullough, Serena Haywood and Sarah Hehir
Director: Madelaine Moore
Producer: The Thelmas
Booking Until: 16 August 2014
Box Office: 020 7240 6283
Booking Link: http://tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/whats-on/ladylogue–camden-fringe-2014