Ollie George Clarke’s brilliant new play, Cuttings, explores the influence and power of PR and examines what can now pass as an apology.
After winning an Olivier Award, YouTuber turned actor, Arthur Moses delivers a drunken, offensive, expletive-ridden acceptance speech on live radio. His publicists then need to spin into action, handling frantic calls and social media whilst deflecting responsibility for his actions.
The play questions the intelligence of those who instantly react on social media whilst exploring justifications for actions with humour: were Arthur’s actions the real him? Can fake, but in vogue, mental health problems be manufactured and who else can be blamed?
A lot of good points are made in this play, most notably that there now is a standard template that can be used to provide an apology for anything, and we’ll all probably fall for it.
The cast of three are fantastic; the slightly naive office junior Danica (Maisie Preston) is first on the scene, bewildered but amused by the volume of calls coming in. Boss Gracelyn (Joan Potter) is pure spin and Natasha Patel’s Ruchi stands-out as she has at least some integrity left.
Every inch of the small space of The Hope is used well, with attention to detail and the intimacy really does make the audience feel part of the story.
The 75 minutes fly by, there are no boring bits and the play doesn’t drift away from its message. The final scene – the video message from Arthur – says it all.
Review by Mike Stephenson
“There’s actually no such a thing as good publicity, there’s just planned and unplanned, and this is very much the latter.”
YouTuber turned actor Arthur Moses wins an Olivier Award, and moments later goes on to drunkenly deliver the most offensive, outrageous and profanity-laden speech in the ceremony’s history.
His publicists Gracelyn, Ruchi and Danica have quite a morning ahead of them.
They’ll need to apologise on his behalf all whilst fielding calls, defusing social media, stamping out print, handling the talent, licking SOLT’s wounds and if Arthur could stop posting on Instagram for a second that would be great.
CUTTINGS is a satirical look at public perceptions, fandom & fame and what it means to be ‘sorry’ in the 21st Century. Relish Theatre’s previous work includes Unicorn (Theatre N16), A Matter Of Life And Debt (Edinburgh Fringe) and the podcast Theatre Feuds.
Ruchi – Natasha Patel
Gracelyn – Joan Potter
Danica – Maisie Preston
Producer Amy Hendry
Director & Sound Design – Rob Ellis
Set & Costume Design – Caitlin Abbott
Lighting Design – Holly Ellis
Casting Associate – Katharine Edmonds
writer OLLIE GEORGE CLARK / director ROB ELLIS
The Hope Theatre
207 Upper Street
London N1 1RL
4 – 22 June 2019