Honolulu/Patricia Quinn Saved My Life review at Hen and Chickens London
In this contrasting double bill of new writing for the Guerilla Theatre Festival, Keyworth’s Honolulu thoughtfully explores the tensions between two Jewish women out for a drink in war-torn Tel Aviv, while Carr’s comic offering illuminates the sad lives of two fans trapped in a lavatory at a Rocky Horror Show convention.
In Honolulu, Becky Wright’s Lena finds her forthcoming marriage to an orthodox Jew leading to a row with her more radical friend, Kate (Charlotte Palmer). As the argument rapidly moves from the personal to the political, it also illustrates, as the two women move bars every 30 minutes to avoid suicide bombers, the horrendous effects of living with fear.
Wright and Palmer handle the changes of tone well, through banter, anger and serious reflection, while the piece’s main argument about the limits and demands of personal moral responsibility extends way beyond the current Middle East troubles.
The two Rocky Horror fans (Palmer and Sheena Irving) in Patricia Quinn hope to meet their idol, who played usherette Magenta in the original Royal Court production, but can’t get out of the locked room. Instead, three versions of Quinn at various stages of her career magically appear alongside them reminiscing about the show – Fiona Paul, Felicity Wren and Elicia Daly all hamming it up madly – while the pair’s own conversation soon reveals the truth about their empty lives.
Hoyle directs with just the right degree of caricature in this funny, imaginative comedy, which satirises our obsession with celebrity while displaying genuine affection for The Rocky Horror Show itself.
Hen and Chickens, London, November 9-13
- Stephen Keyworth/Alison Carr
- Oscar Sharp and Stephen Keyworth/Sam Hoyle
- 5065 LIFT
- Cast includes
- Charlotte Palmer, Fiona Paul, Felicity Wren, Elicia Daly
- Running time
- 1hr 10mins