Review: Gemma Arterton is the Duchess of Malfi at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Review: Sam Mendes directs King Lear at the National Theatre

Review: Cuckoo at the Unicorn Theatre

Jennifer is the straight-laced, hard-working, shy girl who melts into the background at school while Nadine is the sassy, drinking, smoking bad girl who constantly gets herself into trouble but despite their differences they become firm friends.

It is a voyage of discovery for both. Jennifer knocks some of the rougher edges off Nadine and Nadine brings Jennifer out of her shell. Jennifer's mother Erica, a Guardian-reading, hippy who spent years working in Africa before reluctantly returning to the UK, takes Nadine under her wing, sees a spark in her to be nurtured. She becomes both mentor and a surrogate if liberal parent to Nadine, drinking and smoking with her and soon Jennifer is jealous of their relationship which doesn't end well.

Written by Suhayla El-Bushra, whose play Pigeons at the Royal Court Weekly Rep impressed me last summer this is equally an impressive piece. It examines the nature of friendship and parenting with a crisply written script and pacey production. The 75 minutes rattle by with swift scene changes and the heavy beats of pop.

This is a play of dilemmas and moral questions and it was refreshing to watch something that was contemporary but didn't go in for big shocks and emotional trauma. Cuckoo runs at the Unicorn Theatre until the 25 Jan.


As soon as I've nabbed the cast list off Poly I'll come up with one. Promise.

And here's a little behind the scenes vid about the play:



Suhayla El-Bushra
Suhayla El-Bushra