Supposedly one should never talk about politics, religion, or sex! Well, James Christian breaks all the rules in his newest production, Skewed Judgement, which is a contemporary production looking at sex, relationships and politics and how one can navigate opposing opinions in your personal relationships.
As a big supporter of new writing I find it fascinating seeing the first production of a writer/director’s work, seeing the writer’s casting, their vision of how they want their words to come to life off the page, So, when the opportunity to watch Jamie Christian’s world premiere of Skewed Judgement was offered I jumped at the opportunity. The piece is running at the White Bear in Kennington, in their recently renovated performance space. The piece is short at 75 minutes and is well-paced, the scene changes are slick and the space works really well for this production. The set has been constructed to easily flip between various homes and a nightclub with lighting enhancing these settings.
As a production, the piece provides lots of laugh-out-loud moments, as well as some awkward laughs and “did they really say that out loud” moments, which considering the play is steeped in political commentary, is rather satisfying to experience.
The piece begins and there is no doubt in my mind that we are in London in 2017, we are witnessing the generation of tinder daters, protest marchers, flat sharing millennials and the tech startup entrepreneurs!
We meet Ad (Joseph Tregear), our protagonist. Ad is one of those tech geek entrepreneurial types, he is joint-founder of a start-up dating app business that boasts a unique way of matching potential partners. We meet Ad the morning after his first Tinder date with Claudine (Lana Miller), his love interest. Their pillow talk is minimal, their political persuasions not mentioned but their shared love for eggs is obvious.
Throughout the following hour or so we are given an insight into Ad’s life; we meet his father, his father’s partner, his new Bessy mate James and we watch him try to appease all of them in spite of their fractious relationships and opinions of each other. As Ad and Claudine become closer we see how their individual political persuasions interfere with their day to day lives and relationships. As an audience member, I find myself questioning their choices and judging them (maybe unfairly, you’ll have to watch the production and make your own minds up).
The casting for this production really worked, each of the 5 actors Alex Forman (James) Benny Ainsworth (Mikhail) Joseph Tregear (Ad) Lana Miller (Claudine) and Matthew Phillips (Peter) work incredibly well together on stage, their interactions appear genuine with the right amount of tension in the right places. I really enjoyed the casting of Mikhail and Peter, their characters work really well on stage and the actors have obviously done a lot of work on them to make them come to life so well. I recognise the traits of each character I see on stage in me, my friends, family and acquaintances, this adds substance to the piece and makes it easily accessible.
Review by Faye Stockley
It starts with a Tinder date between Ad and Claudine. A week later, they are at it again, only this time with the offer of breakfast from Claudine’s ex-boyfriend and flatmate James.
Ad and Claudine’s relationship develops fast, but Ad knows all too well that sparks will fly once he introduces her to his dad Peter, and Peter’s younger boyfriend Mikhail.
This is a brief glimpse into the lives of five people who are bound together by circumstance yet severed by politics.
SKEWED JUDGEMENT offers some light relief and manages to skirt around subjects that normally wouldn’t raise a smile.
Director & Writer
by Jamie Christian
15th to 26th August 2017