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Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner review at Royal Court Theatre, London – ‘a blistering debut’

Tia Bannon and Danielle Vitalis in Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at Royal Court, London. Photo: Helen Murray

Jasmine Lee-Jones’ blistering debut play Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner takes place in two worlds: the Twittersphere and the ‘real world’, or IRL.

Cleo (Danielle Vitalis) posts a series of tweets under her Twitter handle @INCOGNEGRO, initially in response to Forbes Magazine referring to Kylie Jenner as a ‘self-made’ billionaire. The tweets are posted intermittently and each describes a possible method of death for Jenner followed by an explanation based around the model’s appropriation of black culture and style.

As the ensuing Twitterstorm gathers energy online, back in her real-world bedroom Cleo meets with Kara (Tia Bannon), her long-time friend whose response to the online events is to suggest that Cleo stop posting the tweets and generally back away from the argument.

Directed with pace and unremitting intensity by Milli Bhatia, the production sees the two women racing around the small stage voicing the tweets posted in response to Cleo. Lee-Jones’ play is composed partly from emojis, GIFs, memes and online acronyms, all of which Vitalis and Bannon verbalise and act out. It’s expertly done.

Rajha Shakiry’s set positions a huge white net (or perhaps ‘web’ to represent the world wide web) above the women that at points descends to heighten the sense of claustrophobia as online and real-life worlds collide. When they do, the result is unexpected and moving.

It is rare to see a play that feels so precisely timely in both its writing and execution. It marks Lee-Jones out as a brilliant, creative new voice.

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Verdict
New writing about social media and the power of friendship that crackles with rage and sadness
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