‘Charming & sweet without being saccharine’: I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS – Vault Festival

In Comedy, Festivals, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

VAULT Festival, The Vaults, London – until 25 February 2018

Alice and her husband moved house from a bustling city to sleepy Berkhamsted just six weeks ago. She can’t wait to make new friends and get stuck into all that village life offers, even though her new home is hardly trendy like Margate, and none of her friends are willing to visit. The only thing undermining her positivity is that faithful companion Anxiety has relocated with her and threatens to ruin everything.

This two-person musical has a basic structure but a big heart. Alice (Alice Keedwell) and Anxiety (Harry Blake) effectively contrast each other with heaps of enthusiasm and perkiness (the former) and a dry, sardonic deadpan (the later). Staging and set are minimal, but Keedwell is an engaging storyteller that draws out audience sympathy for her near-constant crises of confidence.

The turning point is predictable but still manages to warm the heart because Alice is such a lovely, relatable (albeit white, middle-class) character. Blake’s brief, cutting lines are hilarious; he provides more of an element of surprise but they interact with ease, generating light tension. Bigger conflicts would give the piece more excitement, though even though it gently mocks the stereotypes of little England life.

I Have a Bad Feeling About This is charming and sweet without being saccharine. The stakes are low; Alice’s struggles come out of daily, routine tasks rather than elephantine obstacles. It’s generally the opposite of what normally makes good theatre. But intimacy and interaction with the audience makes this more of a conversation rather than high drama. With an easy simplicity, the show works by tapping into the slightly sentimental core of even the hardest of hearts.

I Have a Bad Feeling About This runs through 25 February.

 

Laura Kressly on RssLaura Kressly on Twitter
Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
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Laura Kressly on RssLaura Kressly on Twitter
Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.

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