‘Something a little extraordinary’: GROTTY – Bunker Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Bunker Theatre – until 26 May 2018

There’s something a little extraordinary about Izzy Tennyson’s central performance at the heart of Grotty. Her Rigby is mesmerising, a young woman finding her way through the London lesbian scene, characterised as an almost grotesque clown, clambering over every inch of the Bunker Theatre, hunched over, tongue lapping, words gabbled, a striking presence indeed.

As strong as she is though, this isn’t a one-woman show and Tennyson’s idiosyncratic manner (she is also the writer here) doesn’t always sit easily within the wider world of the play she has created. The relationships she crashes in and out of, the hookups she searches out, the friendships she abuses – all are more conventionally conceived, insofar as this slice of lesbian subculture could be considered conventional.

In some ways, this disconnect is part of Tennyson’s aim. Rigby doesn’t feel the kind of kinship here that she craves, and struggles to deal with the cliquiness of the scene, its downright hostility and bitchiness. As she deals with the competing demands of her two girlfriends, plus discerning a place for her own desires, this is a brutally frank depiction of an element of LGBT life not much explored on London’s stages.

And in that respect, Hannah Hauer-King’s production for Damsel Productions should be lauded, forefronting such stories and bringing together a quality creative team, that just happens to be all-female. It’s hard not to feel that Grotty could benefit from a tad more development, to really unify its lead performer to its play and to strengthen the focus of its narrative away from late-arriving characters.

Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
Read more...

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

Leave a Comment