I can excitedly say I had the opportunity to see The Unmarried at Camden People’s Theatre, and it is a performance I will be bragging about all week.
Think a Kate Tempest-esque character. Cocky, banter-filled Londoner with all the needs of any woman, and we are given permission to sit, listen and perhaps judge or relate to ‘Luna’s’ lifestyle up until this moment.
This is a piece written, performed and produced by the obviously multi-talented Lauren Gauge, having been workshopped previously through the Lyric Hammersmith. Which automatically makes me think about what this piece was like before tonight, and whether it always told the same story. I like to think it did, as one that tells so well.
We are given the tag line ‘This is gig theatre’. And after the show, I wonder why on earth this type of work is not showcased more, and if in fact it is, why I haven’t experienced it before?
I go to the theatre to see performances that excite me, and I most definitely came away with a buzz. Gauge’s poetic lyrics roll off the tongue. Quick paced, fiery and utter truths keep the audience in the palm of her hand for the entire performance. I can guarantee you’ll laugh with her and dream with her, until it finishes, and you’re left wanting more. ‘Bricks and Mortar’ never seemed so optimistically and conventionally exciting, ‘The Child’ bringing a nice twist to the plot, which we automatically hope isn’t your classic love and break-up story, and thankfully is not.
The Unmarried is well-structured, and tells a story that any Londoner can relate to; of need, love and constant social pressure of what it is to be an adult, a female adult at that, in today’s society.
The Beatboxing and vocals from Nate Forderstaple and Kate Donnachie add a fresh rhythm to the poetry, each clear talent adding the ‘gig’ feel to this show. If I had one suggestion, I would like to showcase both of their talents a little more centre stage. The rise in volume and speed really helped the flow throughout, but with ‘Luna’ being such a strong character, you almost want Nate and Kate to have more reactions, and more character to them. Although, it must be said the direction of the entire show from director Niall Phillips works extremely well, with each movement feeling very fluid and rehearsed.
In the brief moments that Gauge allows herself to breathe and dance, there’s a definite wish for the lights to start strobing and a chance to join in and participate.
I must urge Gauge to push on with this piece, and allow others to witness her raw, electrifying show. This must develop and be shared as a voice for us Unmarried lot. For us, with too much to say and no ways to say it.
Lauren Gauge is an exciting new voice in theatre and one that shouldn’t be missed.
Review by Amy Spinks
The Unmarried is a truly original production that’s boldly cross-genre. Sharp comedic and poetic writing laced with explosive musical beats. This is gig theatre. Theatre you can rave to.
Rhythmically underscored by a live mix of beat boxing 90’s Dance hits and old school UK Garage. Award winning actor-writer Lauren Gauge explores with cutting comedy, the feminist defiance of the legacy of a patriarchal society that nearly succeeded in defining the hopes of a generation.
The story we tell is a raw, feminist, comedy. Luna is a bold a brass lager lout on the prowl for wild times, whilst in a 7 year long relationship with a wanker banker. Come and see the show explode with powerful performances, beat boxing and vocals…
Cast: Lauren Gauge
Beatbox & vocals: Kate Donnachie & Nate Forderstaple (of Battersea Arts Centre’s beatbox academy.)
Director: Niall Phillips
The Unmarried – Tuesday 22nd November at 9pm