Hen And Chickens, London N1
Opened 25 June, 1991

"A study of life from childhood through to middle-age" which, once again, says all the right things though rarely in a theatrically compelling fashion. Two characters' lives cross at intervals of several years: we get to compare and contrast their triumphs and their despairs. Samantha Nials' young Caroline is an irritatingly basic sketch (right down to thumb-sucking), but her "adult" performance is rich with understated response and unforced nuance; Laura Wilkinson's Jessica is a more consistent character given a more consistent representation, hitting neither Nials' highs nor her lows. There's a wonderful short story about comfort eating, but a short story doesn't make a dramatic monologue. That's the problem: Brazen theatre company, formed to create meaty roles for women, have here created a series of audition pieces.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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