Lucy Benson-Brown's one woman show explores mid-to-late twenties inertia, family values and how we pin hopes and philosophies on the tunes of our favourite musical artists. Benson-Brown's script and performance are frantic, heartfelt and confident as she paints the world of a lost 27 year old with fine detail.
Benson-Brown's script and performance are frantic, heartfelt and confident as she paints the world of a lost 27 year old with fine detail.
Admittedly, plays and films about liberal westerners lost in some sort of late 20's arrested development are a common thing these days and Benson-Brown's script does contain the occasional trite line or observation. Her use of language, though, which is unashamedly adolescent - full of 'and I was like/they were like/it was like' and ingenious use of swear words - has a superb rhythm that pings out of Benson-Brown at a rate of knots.
Her performance in general is of a high quality. Her delivery is fast, clear, crisp and precise and she holds one's attention with ease. The dance scenes (a phrase and reveal which might make some people deny the show completely) switch between funny and powerful and Benson-Brown attacks these segments with the same verve as the text.
The central thread of clutching onto a musician as if they were your life coach is used to great effect to sting the piece together and draw in the audience. Although the central character is obsessed with Kate Bush, Benson-Brown has cleverly written her fanaticism in a way that prompts one to be reminded of their own musical doyen(ne). That one star who you know everything about, who you dream of seeing live and who the universe puts on your random playlist just when you need them. Kate Bush becomes a character, becomes that ethereal figure who is always just out of reach and Benson-Brown uses this immensely well. Cutting Off Kate Bush is a show for anyone who has ever relied on a megastar they've never met.
Final kudos must be given to Benson-Brown for knowing exactly when to end her show. By this I don't mean it was overly long or I was pining for it to end, but she could have spoiled a good thing by going on for another few minutes and tying up a few loose threads. By leaving an element of the uncertain ahead of her, Benson-Brown stops this show from falling into the trap of being another 'just follow your dreams, man' drama built on incessant adolescent apathy.