There are two things in theatre that are very difficult to get right. The first is farce, defined as a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations. And the second is acting drunk which is full of pitfalls for the young actor. If you would like to see an example of both of these done extremely well then get yourself down to the Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton to see Lost Fragments new production Sorry, I Killed Your Cat.
In a fairly nice apartment on the fifteenth floor of a North London tower block, James (Tré Curran) is chilling out on the sofa. The apartment is nicely furnished but there is one slightly incongruous part of the decoration, a plethora of post-its on virtually every surface. James’ peach is rudely interrupted by the loud arrival of his partner Charlotte (Katherine Hartshorne) laden down with bags. She has been out shopping and has bought back tons of food for a dinner party she and James are throwing that evening. Well, when we say dinner party, it is less a formal dinner and more an evening with a new couple in the apartment block – Lisa (Annie Jones) and Aaron (Liam Harvey). Although Charlotte has problems with them – Lisa is too glamorous and Aaron is from the North, Charlotte has invited them to dinner as she feels extremely guilty about a slight run in she has had with Lisa and Aaron’s cat. When in an awkward situation, the most important thing to do is have a drink or two, or three or four to help you relax and Charlotte certainly agrees with that old adage. When Aaron and Lisa arrive, they too seem slightly nervous and start knocking back the drinks. The night is set for an interesting dinner party where food is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Why are Aaron and Lisa nervous? Will James or Charlotte let the proverbial cat out of the bag? The next hour or so will be a real eye-opener for everyone.
Written by Tré Curran, Sorry, I Killed Your Cat is a wonderful comedy play that really brings to mind the good old days of Brian Rix and the Whitehall Farces. I don’t really want to go too much into the details of the story, but there is a lovely flow to the narrative that means the more ludicrous the situation becomes, there is still a whiff of potential believability in it. The only negative I had was that, whilst the character of Charlotte was fairly well defined, I think there should have been a bit more detail about her relationship with James – and lord knows why he stayed with her – and particularly her obsession with post-its. However, that is a minor point and overall, I really liked the story and the surprising way it twisted and turned and headed off in ways I wasn’t expecting.
Both Katherine and Liam have to appear very drunk and both pull it off extremely well. Katherine, in particular manages to keep just on the right side of annoying drunk as she attempts some of the most off-putting flirty dancing ever seen. When you combine this with her look of blank incomprehension virtually every time Aaron’s character speaks in his northern accent, it emphasises that she is a really good young actress. In fact, all four actors are extremely proficient at their craft as individuals. Together, they are really in sync with each other and work superbly together to deliver an extremely funny show.
To sum up then Sorry, I Killed Your Cat was a really great show by a young theatre company that I believe has a bright future ahead of them. Despite quite a few members of the audience appearing to have never visited a theatre before – turn your phone off please – I had a thoroughly great time seeing this show and look forward to their next production.
Review by Terry Eastham
When a new couple move into a north London apartment block their neighbours are quick to invite them over for dinner, though not all is as it seems.
Packed full of laughs, drama and dead animals, Sorry, I Killed Your Cat, is a hilarious piece of new writing about keeping up false appearances, broken relationships, alcohol and “accidentally” killing cats.
It will leave you hoping that you never get invited to dinner party ever again.
The Courtyard Theatre
Bowling Green Walk
40 Pitfield Street
21st-25th February 2017