Kind

In this lifeless production, we follow the tale of a young woman, Skildir, as she struggles to cope with life in a secluded island community and an abusive stepfather. I’d like to elaborate on the plot further but, well, nothing really happened. Girl meets boy, girl talks to disconcerting puppet children, girl performs legally questionable deeds. That’s unfair - there was some death, too. It’s not necessarily a problem with the story itself per se but in the execution. It was all rather bland.

The show raises some important issues, yet there are so many crammed into so little time that none of them are fully explored. For example, it appeared that multiple characters were self-harming: though their motivation was obvious, we never learnt precisely why they had to turn to this specific end. These characters have a close connection and both happen to have been driven to extremes -this has to be worth further development. The production trundled along, throwing ideas out here and there, then suddenly the climactic moment came out of nowhere. It was a genuine shock but probably not for the right reasons: I just couldn’t understand why. It felt extreme for the same of extremity.

This could also have been caused by characterisation issues. Performances all across the board were flat, lacking energy and spark, making it difficult to sympathise or engage with our protagonists. Even in moments of heightened emotional drama I just couldn’t forge a connection. Skildir’s stepfather and the family midwife injected some more life into the production, though this caused problems of its own: I cared more about the stepfather’s character arc than Skildir’s. This isn’t supposed to happen! I don’t want to sympathise with the bad guy! It makes it very hard to condone our protagonist’s actions when you can’t sympathise with them.

It is a shame that the show became so boring so quickly because the opening scene was charming and beautifully executed. The way in which each of the birds is represented was creative and quirky - I just wish this could have extended to the rest of the play.

What this needs is more power. More emotion, more energy, more pain. Simply more. Give it a kick-start with some life and you have the makings of something truly moving.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

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.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Mythical love story on a remote island community told using puppetry and physical theatre.'We were perched like birds, intense and waiting for characters edging closer and closer to a precipice.' (Varsity) Winner of RSC/Other Prize 2012 for new writing.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets