Review: Finding the truth in Faith Healer, Donmar Warehouse
That was June in London theatre-land

#RADAfest Review: Night Kitchen Cabaret's Family Tree, RADA

Festival_2015_family_treeRuby (Roses Urquhart) runs a cabaret from her kitchen in the East End. The night of the cabaret is fast approaching and Ruby's has lost two of her acts but can she pull a show out of the bag in time for the arrival of her cousin (once removed) who lives on another planet?

She's not on her own, she has her adopted family and friends around her all of whom have their own problems to solve. In the corner of the kitchen, Mabel (Jo Bowis) is trying to find the missing ingredient to distil a hangover-free gin which Sapphire (Clare Barrett), the temperamental French chef, might be able to help with but she needs to face the past. Then there is the Boy Bun (Jordon Stevens), a waif Ruby has taken in, but he likes to sleep in the dog basket and has to face his nightmarish fears. But, there are always the dead relatives to call upon.

It is a circus of characters with Ruby as a sort of ringmaster or conductor keeping everything in some sort of order. It's a story that is part (Grimm) fairytale, part musical and part variety show. There is puppetry, hoola hoops, juggling, acrobatics, dancing, magic and comedy weaved through the story - or is the story weaved through the variety acts? It is amusing, entertaining and often laugh out loud funny.

The set is impressive and imaginatively manipulated for what are a series of loosely connected set pieces. It is performed with skill and panache and I particularly enjoyed Jordon Steven's Boy Bun who has a twitchy energy and streetwise innocence.

Family Tree is a fun show, polished and brilliantly executed and there are two performances left as part of the RADA Festival which finishes this weekend. It is 70 minutes long and I'll be looking out for what Roses Urquhart's Night Kitchen Cabaret do next. It's getting a fun five stars from me.