Catherine & Anita

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Assembly Rooms
Until the 26th (21.05)

Script: five-stars  Stagecraft: three-stars.png Performance: four-stars.png

Catherine & Anita is a powerful & flippant piece of theatre. The brainchild of American writer/director Derek Ahonen, he has chosen as his mouth-piece the electric watch that is Sarah Roy, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Together, they tell the story of Catherine & her invisible friend, an idealised & actualised symptom of her madness, who supports her through both the childhood causes of her madness & the inevitable fall-out in her later, adult life. I don’t want to talk about the story too much, as a prior knowledge to events would deflect somewhat from the intensity of the dramatic interplay between the audience member & Roy’s ruminatingly, chin-strokingly decisive performance. All I can say is that the multi-layered plot peels off like an onion in an exquisitely smooth progress throughout Ahonen’s worldscape.

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As Roy chitters away through all her angsty girliness, we become almost as one with Catherine, so powerful is the acting. I cannot praise highly enough how bold this play is, when a make-believe best friend becomes a massive, almost tangible presence on the stage – a rare feat which seemed easy putty in the hands of Roy. Indeed, her gothic, slightly deranged, but unquestionably courageous performance was at first unpleasant & a little corrosive to observe, then increasingly superb as the plot levels clothed her & we began to understand what was going on. Both an exploration of insanity & an expose on the darker corners of the world we undoubtedly share, C&A is a fascinating foray into the theatrical demense, & one which should be applauded for both its bravery AND its quality.

Reviewer : Damo

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Posted on August 24, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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