Review: The Nest, Young Vic
London fringe theatre news round up - upcoming tidbits, monologues and one offs

Review: Trade, Young Vic

FA705385_942longThree different women, an idyllic Caribbean resort and one man that binds them. Debbie Tucker Green's play examines ideas of feminism, sex and power.

There is a young woman (Ayesha Antoine) who's saved up for a holiday with her friends, an older woman (Jo Martin) who is a repeat visitor and a local (Sharon Duncan Brewster) who earns money braiding tourists' hair on the beach. Each thinks they are better than the other - savvy and independent; each feels they are the master of their own destiny, make their own decisions and have choices.

The women talk, laugh, argue, at times allied and at others alienated in commonalities and differences of belief and experience.  But gradually, over the course of 60 minutes their ideas  and feelings of independence are challenged.

Debbie Tucker Green's sharp script uses a mixture of natural dialogue with something more stylised where the lines are short, sometimes just words, delivered in quick succession switching swiftly between each of the protagonists. Certain lines are repeated like a musical refrain that hangs in the air. Its effect is powerful melting the woman's individuality and differences into something more homogeneous - a collective of differences.

The performance space is bare except for a white platform in the centre which is slightly tilted. The audience sits on four sides and sometimes the actors prowl around the edges or sit among them. The faster segments are delivered with pin sharp accuracy while there is just enough pause to add to the drama and allow the ideas and characters' cognisance to land and develop.

Trade is an interesting piece - funny, challenging and brilliantly performed. It's on at the Young Vic in The Clare until Nov 26 and is 60 minutes straight through. I'm giving it four stars.


Also on at the Young Vic, in The Maria, is The Nest and coming up next on the main stage is Once in a Lifetime starring Harry Enfield which I'll be reviewing later this month.