Making It!

Billed as a poignant one-woman comedy drama, actress Davina Leonard delivers exactly that, with more accent on the drama. The piece centres around Jess, a wannabe, naive actress with a sad desperation to get an acting job.

The roles are all clearly defined and Leonard flits seamlessly between each one without any doubt about who she's portraying.

Any job will do for Jess; the rueful ending of the piece proves that indeed, anything will. Along the way we meet Bronwyn, a self obsessed Australian actress who pretends to be Jess's friend, but is really a bitch; Pilar, a Spanish actress with an indecipherable accent; Garrick, a posh-boy misogynist film director and a Northern film extra who exaggerates her roles.

It's all cleverly observed; one wonders how much of this piece is autobiographical. The roles are all clearly defined and Leonard flits seamlessly between each one without any doubt about who she's portraying.

The cod opening with the music feels false, and sets the show off on a slightly odd start as the rest of it doesn’t have the same humour. The piece doesn't quite know what it is: is this a comedy or a piece of theatre? It's witty, but not out-and-out funny. It's melancholic, but not overly dramatic. Perhaps it would be better billed as 'bitter-sweet'.

The piece excels in the melancholy moments and the 'Juliet' sequence proves how good an actress Leonard is. There is a lot to praise, but as with Jess's desperation to be an actress, the show seems a bit desperate to please.  

Reviews by Gordon Noele

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The Blurb

TNC Pick of the Fringe. Jess is determined to be a bright new force on the London stage. Pilar wants to act in a supermarket. And Bronwyn’s gone viral on YouTube. For now the only boards Jess treads are at the cafe where she works. She carries us on her comic journey through the dark heart of the drama industry via thankless crowd scenes, questionable auditions and pearls of wisdom from a pantomime horse. All she needs is an agent, a great part and the right stage. Leonard's poignant one-woman, comedy-drama about making coffees and making it!

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