Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
As an Edinburgh resident, watching Stiff Dicky last night is what I love this festival for, that injection of ‘foreign’ funkiness into our traditional dreich, weather-smitten conventionalities. No, the Scottish Theatre world would not produce anything near as raunchy – & realistic – as that which Junkbox Theatre has just done. Led by Georgia Taylforth – writer, producer, actress, & all-round matriarch of the company – in a recent interview with Mumble she spoke about Stiff Dicky, & another of the company’s plays – Mine – & their arrival in Edinburgh;
I’m very lucky with the company that the actors have helped me workshop both plays and create pieces that we feel very proud of. Because of that, I think there’s a bit of me in both plays, but there’s a bit of everyone in both. If a scene or section of dialogue didn’t necessarily work, we’d go back and work together to make it fit. With Emma (Mine) and Alice (Stiff Dicky), I think they’re exaggerated versions of me and my friends at different points of our lives. Both plays aren’t necessarily everyday life, but I think he reason that they have worked with audiences is because, the characters are. I hope that as soon as each character starts talking, you can relate to them in one way or another. I love playing both characters, but Alice has a very special place in my heart.
Stiff Dicky is a short, sexy piece full of cockney chit-chat, urban pezzazz & quality acting from a group of players who you know just get on together. You can feel it in the room. As a unit they define & frame for our entertainment a world of viagras, ‘good old-fashioned fucks‘ & their fatal repercussions. ‘O my god are you French?‘ pipes Georgia’s character as she chases a guy through a nightclub, whose ‘chat-up’ scenes are clearly carved from real memories, which make them all the more brutally brilliant to watch. ‘Were you gonna suck off a dead guy?’ ‘That might have been a distinct possibility,‘ &, well, I don’t really need to say any more, do I?
Stiff Dicky is a case of Millennial metro-sexuals finally putting down the ketamine bottles they bought down Brixton one night & turning towards an ascent of Parnassus. As the slick, chit-chatty script hurtles through the story, there are some really nice, well-thought-out touches of stagecraft, the transition between scenes for example, & a remarkably sitcommy finale, which does work but jars a little against the cooler earlier parts of the play. Stiff Dicky is also a little too fast-paced (perhaps on purpose) – like going too swift at a corner at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix – but that’s fine, for going to watch the classy Junkbox Theatre strut their stuff is a smart move, & its also good to experience the Cockney joie de vivre north of the Wall.
Reviewer : Damo