Lipstick and Scones

Venture Wolf’s production of Lipstick and Scones is a combination of familial drama and comedy that raises questions about love, identity and relationships.

Wit and drama are powerful factors in this love song to the likes of Ayckbourn and Coward but unfortunately the production falls down at few key moments.

This 45 minute discourse at theSpace on the Mile’s stage follows the conflicts and encounters of three sisters who are reunited for the eldest’s fourth engagement that year. The sisters bicker and attempt to irk each other as their other halves spectate, jumping in occasionally in attempt to remedy the most awkward situations.

The roles of the sisters are strong, each clearly representing the extremes of emotions that their audience could easily identify with, presenting in turn feelings of validation, nostalgia and nervousness. Such differences can lead to drama which this production has in abundance and Paul Vitty’s writing shows all of this with nuance, moving from the curt, passive aggression to pure anger. A special mention must go to Bibi Lucille whose performance of Liz, the volatile older sister, was well handled as she moved from anger to joy to drunkenness with almost seamless transitions.

However, there are a few weaknesses in this performance that mean the final climax is less dramatic than one would hope for. The monologues of some of the characters seemed a little restrained and the passion you would expect between the couples was missing at significant moments. Moreover, the delivery of lines in the angry discussion between the sisters about their mother felt a little pedestrian and didn’t hit the mark in conveying their bitterness towards her.

Although the portrayals of the characters were clear, it was hard to sympathise with them and believe in them as people. While all humans are faulted, I struggled to empathise with, and believe in, the pain the characters were meant to be suffering and the way that discussion moved from confrontation to general discussion and back again sometimes felt forced during the performance.

Wit and drama are powerful factors in this love song to the likes of Ayckbourn and Coward but unfortunately the production falls down at few key moments.  

Reviews by Caitlin Powell

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Performances

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The Blurb

Three sisters who have ended up living very separate lives gather to celebrate the eldest's engagement, but as it's her fourth this year, no one is certain if he even exists! As the evening progresses past resentments and old secrets emerge that could derail all their lives. Lipstick and Scones by Paul Vitty is 45 minutes of biting wit and incredible heart, sure to make you laugh and maybe shed a tear or two.

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