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Review of Bunny by Jack Thorne at The Tristan Bates Theatre

Bunny - Photo credit Michael Lindall
Bunny – Photo credit Michael Lindall

Bunny by Jack Thorne is a mesmerising piece of writing, covering everything from class, racism, sexual politics, violence and the loneliness of adolescence and yet still being both laugh-out-loud funny. It’s one of those perfect monologues that leaves you a little changed.

Katie (Catherine Lamb) is a middle class, clarinet-playing Luton school girl with a vengeful streak and an attraction to danger. She doesn’t quite know what she’s running from or why, she just knows that her life feels dull, incomplete in some nameless way. She’s seeking adventure and thrills. She’s happy to use her sexual power but has no real sense of the danger she may be in. A heady combination.

In this production by Fabricate Theatre, Lamb plays Katie with a delicate balance of bravado, desperation and curiosity. It’s an exceptional performance from an actor clearly relishing the chance to take on this role and show her range. Her Katie is vulnerable, bitchy, smart and naive in equal measure. Lucy Weller’s set is simple but used to good effect. Every scene is alive and vivid, and as the tension builds the audience are completely drawn in.

Director Lucy Curtis keeps the direction taut and unobtrusive, there are occasional moments of exuberant physicality and a slightly irksome staccato flash between scenes, but for the most part, it’s left for Katie to tell us her story. The simple set, the sensitive direction and flawless performance combine with Thorne’s brilliant writing to create breathless theatre.

4 stars

Review by Roz Wyllie

A summer of love. A fight. A car chase. A siege. When Katie’s boyfriend is attacked on the streets of Luton, she is propelled outside of her borders on to the frontier of council estates and concrete jungles. Amidst the sweltering heat, the baying for blood and longing for love, Katie is forced to decide her future.

A vital tale for our times by multi-award winning playwright, Jack Thorne, Bunny is an interrogation into the mind of one young girl struggling to find her place within a modern world lacking intimacy and connection. Join her in overcoming barriers as she rides through one extraordinary evening.

Katie Catherine Lamb

Director Lucy Curtis
Producer Fabricate Theatre
Designer Lucy Weller
Movement Director Angela Gasparetto
Stage manager Claudia Bryan-Joyce
Sound Designer Lex Kosanke

Bunny by Jack Thorne
Theatre: Tristan Bates Theatre, 1a Tower Street, London, WC2H 9NP


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