BALLOT BOX

2

Kings Arms Theatre

Written by Emily Parker-Barratt

Performed by Emily Parker-Barratt                                       Keri Bastiman

The staging of this piece is a good opening indicator of how invested Tea & Tonic Productions are in bringing their show to life. The attention to detail throughout is terrific from the frequent costume changes to the great soundtrack. The Cath Kidson throw and the Yorkshire Tea teapot really brought alive the North/South backgrounds of these two young actresses. 

Two out if work young actresses renting a tiny flat in London, dodging their landlord and squabbling over telly choices and politics while drinking copious amounts of tea. This could easily have veered into Sh!t Theatres  Letters to Windsor House territory but instead this takes a fresh spin on sofa politics.

Parker-Barrett and Bastiman are good foils for each other and their timing is impeccable. One is bright, brittle and politically aware, The other more warm, earthy and initially blissfully politically naive. Lydia and Molly share some great pithy one liners, several of which I’m tempted to pinch.

The core of the piece is the exploration  of their political beliefs in the run up to Brexit. It cleverly  highlights the political fissures that opened up in many homes, families and friendships last Summer. It also serves to remind up all of the growing awareness of the power of the young vote.

The relationship between the two reaches breaking point when tragedy strikes. This is the moment when both actresses shine. The raw grief was authentic and beautifully played. The dramatic shift allowed for a really powerful end to the piece. The grieving portrayed, perfectly echoed the grief of many of the 48% Remainers.

Going to Edinburgh Fringe