Moors Bar theatre is new to me and I can’t say much for the venue other than its pretty cool to get to walk through the pre-set props to get to the loo (on the side of the stage). Unfortunately, I can’t say much for this devised piece by Radi-Dah theatre either, which is a shame because I wanted to like this young company of recent graduates from Plymouth University and their examination of ‘getting by’ in London as new Theatre graduates. I guess what I was hoping for was a hint at the universal challenges of getting by, some wit about the specific skills that a Theatre degree lands you with, and possibly some hope to come away with.
A painfully obvious poem about not wanting pregnant women to take your seat on the tube and a drawn-out skit of an uninterested tour guide, complete with achingly stereotyped tourists of different nationalities are particular low points.
However, the tropes start flowing fast: dads taking pictures in the front row; the company’s entrance crawling whilst playing a drama game involving a ‘ball of energy’; the classic student tropes of shouting over each other (to imply heightened tension); white-face make-up with over-sized smiles (to designate ‘character’); pinning used props to a washing line at the back of the stage (which I think is supposed to be meaningful); and the seemingly random bits of dancing and gurning. The whole thing smacks of school drama. This becomes increasingly frustrating alongside a narrative which is essentially a long complaint about having to get proper jobs and pay rent.
There’s a couple of promising scenes - an internet dating skit which would have amused if it wasn’t for the aforementioned gurning, a pretty funny bit about CV skillsets. A pass-the-parcel game where each layer opened elicits a little moan about areas of London and their absurd house pricing would work if not for the amazing out-datedness of their descriptions; these kids think hipsters still live in Camden, it's still possible to rent in Chelsea, and that doing a cringe-inducingly bad Jamaican accent for the Brixton bit will convince us they’ve ever actually been there. A painfully obvious poem about not wanting pregnant women to take your seat on the tube and a drawn-out skit of an uninterested tour guide, complete with achingly stereotyped tourists of different nationalities are particular low points.
The denouement comes with the slow solemn removal of make-up to a backing track of a parental conversation about prospects and Aaron Latini delivering a grandiose speech questioning how talent is measured and asking ‘are we just deluded?’. I’m going to go with ‘no comment’. Despite the exceedingly poor show, I’m giving one star for effort, as the performers certainly throw their all into this odd piece, and one for the real streak of promise here - Louise Holdway’s instant likeability and natural flair for comic timing.