Friendships and relationships can be tricky to navigate, particularly when they become tangled together. Biting Block Theatre Company are an emerging young duo here to explore just that. Along with feminist reflections on the conflict between motherhood and career aspirations, it is a compelling reflection on the choices made by modern women, and female friendship.
When they finally get to chatting, lies and deception are on the table rather than just bottles of wine
Best pals Emily and Flo have drifted apart after graduation and are in need of a well-earned catch up. But when they finally get to chatting, lies and deception are on the table rather than just bottles of wine. The two girls have been friends for ages but Flo’s new mysterious older man causes a rift between them. As the situation escalates their friendship turns into threats as the stakes are raised higher and higher.
Although Catching Up is listed as a thriller, it’s hard to say that the production actually comes across this way – there is simply never a high enough level of threat that the genre requires. That isn’t to say that the play doesn’t supply real tension and power. This is primarily thanks to the skilfully written script, which provides a strong realism and flow to the speech. Also to be commended are the two actors themselves for pulling of a demanding piece of work with flare. It can be very difficult to maintain the audience’s attention when performing a piece with such a casual conversationalist style but both girls are highly watchable and really bring the piece to life. That being said, there are moments where the pacing could feel somewhat dragged, and the plot leaves a little more action to be desired.
One of the main difficulties this production faced was positioning the actors on stage. This was not helped by the wish to have a naturalistic set and the small room they are squeezed into as their venue. This lead to many occasions where heavy dialogue was being said by actors trapped behind pieces of furniture. Overall however, Catching Up is a gripping piece of new theatre which has a lot to appreciate, despite some minor issues.