Bury the Hatchet – REVIEW

Bury the Hatchet – REVIEW

The Hope Theatre, London

★★★★

Bury the Hatchet

The Hope Theatre, London

 

Seen July 28th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★

Outside of my theatre life, there is nothing I love more than watching crime documentaries (especially BuzzFeed Unsolved!). After all, I spent 5 years of my life studying Law and Psychology. Delving into criminal mysteries became the norm for me. So I was super excited when I saw the story line for Bury the Hatchet.

There is still an unsolved murder from 1892 which had the main suspect acquitted. The murder of Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby Borden, occurred 126 years ago to the date of writing this review, August 4th 1892. The main suspect was Andrew Borden’s younger daughter, Lizzie Andrew Borden. This case was unique in providing an insight into the flaws of forensic investigation at the time as this case was ultimately dropped as there was insufficient evidence in order to secure a conviction.

Bury the Hatchet has a very unique way in retelling this story with an injection of some folk music here and there. It was delivered as a documentary yet had a very raw appearance.

Let’s just jump straight in with the biggest down fall and in fact, my only real criticism of the show. I personally feel this raw appearance let the performance down. I couldn’t help but feel there was no real thought in the delivery or preparation. Throughout the show there was a lot of jumping around. The three characters continuously jumped into various different historical reenactment roles which made it rather tricky to stay up to speed with the story being played out in front of you. I occasionally found myself confused as to what time period we were viewing: was it still the historical reenactment or had we leaped forward back into the present day retelling of the story? Whilst watching the show I could see that this disorganised element could be easily rectified in a number of ways.

Taking this out of the equation, I did enjoy the show. It is very rarely you see a play of this nature. I certainly cannot fault the cast. They were incredible and worked wonders with what they had in that room. The harmonies definitely stood out for me. I loved how the addition of music was intricately woven into the story and that it was actually relevant and fitting. The use of the limited number of instruments really transported you back to 1890’s Massachusetts.

I am always intrigued when writers perform their written work. Sarah Wilson did this for Bury the Hatchet. Not only was the writing factual and interesting but the way Sarah delivered this was engaging. The addition of Joseph Prowen and David Leopold only added to this. Chemistry is something I always look for in a cast and the chemistry seen on stage was strong enough to build Andrew ad Abby Borden’s tomb! I really admire the comedy dotted throughout. Although the whole show was scripted, the comedy never seemed forced. This was helped by the fact that Sarah, Joseph and David were able to bounce off each other effortlessly.

I am very glad I managed to see this show and it will be great to see where this goes in the future. I can wholeheartedly say that there is potential and with a budget and larger venue, this will be reached.

Bury the Hatchet is at The Hope Theatre until August 11th. Tickets ind information can be found here.

Fat Jewels – REVIEW

Fat Jewels

The Hope Theatre, London

 

Seen July 6th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★

In the heart of a South Yorkshire council estate lies a lonely and dangerous newly evolving, manipulative friendship. Two repressed characters fighting their own demons. One night they start therapy. Therapy to help Pat (Hugh Train) as he is helplessly overcome by dark, violent thoughts. This therapy conveniently masks Danny’s (Robert Walters) own issues. This controlling piece will demand your attention.

The whole concept was great and it evoked many emotions. I started sympathising with the characters and then this feeling changed to disgust with something one of them said. This turned to laughter and then I found myself on the fence not knowing which side to take but in the end I was rooting for Pat whilst also feeling really sorry for Danny.

This is a very captivating show. I really enjoyed it. It was a rollercoaster but a very stable rollercoaster of emotions and intensity. It was spot on! I do love a dark comedy and some of the one liners were fab. A couple of the life analogies very nearly resulted in belly laughter! I did hope it would be funnier but I feel that was partly on the audience. There were not a lot of us there. When that happens, people get very worried about starting the laughter for fear of being the only person laughing. I’d love to see this with a full house. I image it’ll be a completely different show!

Robert Walter’s performance had me on the edge of my seat. From the onset, you could see the sexual predator in him. His glare towards Pat in those first scenes conveyed so many different aspects of his personality. My psychology brain was making an appearance and I could see the fatherly love towards Pat but also the sexual attraction and the controlling desire.

Hats off to Robert Walters and Hugh Train for delivering that performance. I saw it on a very quiet night with very few people in the audience but they kept the energy level consistent throughout and delivered an entrancing performance Both needing someone regardless of how they created the friendship.

For 70 minutes you are surrounded by the undeniable sense of loneliness and smell of battered sausage and chips. It is slightly overwhelming! You will be craving greasy sausage and chips on the way home.

I urge you to see this piece. Beautifully crafted with such a wonderful script. There is a lot more to be seen with this play. I would be really intrigued to to see other piece from the writer, Joseph Skelton.

Fat Jewels is at The Hope Theatre until July 21st. This isn’t one to miss. Tickets are £15 (£12 concession). More information and tickets can be found here.