From The Cradle To The Bin

A Ship of Fool’s Theatre Company welcome us to Happy Valley Care Home, a place where the elderly are ‘thrown onto life’s scrap heap’. Charles Shetcliffe convincingly plays polite elderly gentleman Mr Whitey, left to the care home by his uninterested daughter. Mr Whitey is played naturalistically, which is a stark yet welcome contrast to the brash, crude and funny Evie Fehilly and Mark Winstanley.

From The Cradle To The Bin tackles issues of old age loneliness with poignant wit

The troupe begin with an endless song, forcing the audience to sing with them over and over which creates a giggly, carefree atmosphere. Mr Whitey has to deal with filthy, insufferable and weirdly sweet Raoul, played by Mark Winstanley, who haphazardly feeds Mr Whitey porridge. The poor sod is left with porridge all over his face throughout the performance, which slowly falls down over the span of the hour, which adds to the overall comedy of the piece. The cast create a sense of sadness towards Mr Whitey, who is totally disregarded by the people he cares about.

The singing and dancing feels unrehearsed, and could potentially be improved with instruments or something to give it a polished edge. We get some timid singing from Evie Fehilly which falls a little flat. Despite this, the performers are naturally comedic and the improvised moments spark hilarity, particularly Winstanley who hilariously plays Raoul with mischief.

The whole piece is brilliantly satirical, with Mr Whitey physically in a wheelie bin for the entirety of the show. The ensemble play with physical space to aid their satirical metaphors, with Evie Fehilly as the care home Director breathing over his shoulder whilst he fills out his happiness questionnaire. This physical closing of the space helps to portray Mr Whitey’s claustrophobia and lack of opinion in his care home.

The cast have us gleeful one moment and guilt-ridden the next. Are we complicit in what happens behind closed doors at the care home? Charles Shetcliffe cares about his character and it shows. As we leave he asks if our grandparents might appreciate a phone call, which is a sweet and heartfelt touch. Despite it’s ridiculous, farcical exterior, From The Cradle To The Bin tackles issues of old age loneliness with poignant wit.

Reviews by Faye Butler

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Strap in Brighton, A Ship of Fools are sailing back to the Warren. That's right, your favourite mischief-makers are back and ready to take you on a hilarious, raucous and uncomfortable voyage aboard the leaky vessel of a broken care system. Guaranteed to have you laughing out loud one minute and squirming in your seat the next, this brilliant bouffon clown comedy pulls no punches in its journey to the darkest side of the care system. Welcome to Happy Valley Care Homes. We care... so you don't have to.

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