Royal Court Rough Cuts: Wild Child
First of two of the Rough Cuts season I'm getting to at the Royal Court this time around and it is another one of those that leaves you desperate to find out how it ends.
We got the first act and the first scene of the second act - about 55 minutes worth - of Arinze Kene's play about a child's death - Wild Child.
It opens at the inquest which recounts the story leading up to the death of Abigale. Abigale and her mother Emilienne and father Unity are immigrants. Unity works initially as a cleaner for her teacher but then dies of a heart attack.
Emilienne turns to her local Evangelical church for support where Pastor Good Morning sells blessings to his congregation and convinces her that Abigale is on her way to become a witch. He recommends praying for three nights to cure her. Abigale herself is painfully shy you can't imagine anyone less likely to have evil in her.
The scenes are supposed to be intermixed with shadow puppets which tell further bits of the story - these were read out by the director and I'd be intrigued to see how they worked in the overall production.
But what intrigues me more is what happens to Abigale. The play gives you several tantalising hints. Is it the duplicitous Pastor Good Morning who has an eye for young girls but also superstitious? Is it her mother who believes beating her daughter is the only way to teach her respect? Is it the boy at school who taunts and teases her?
While it is great fun and a privilege to see a work in progress it is also slightly frustrating not knowing how it all pans out. This is definitely one I hope makes it into a full blown production.
There are three more plays in the Rough Cuts season, each on for two days and details can be found here.