Theatre review: The Cat’s Mother at the Courtyard Theatre

11:23 23 November 2012

The Cat

The Cat's Mother at the Courtyard Theatre. Photo by Jonathan Constant

Archant

A group of women who have been friends since school delve into their past in Pericles Snowdon’s new play

What do you remember from your childhood – and what have you chosen to forget? These are the questions at the heart of Pericles Snowdon’s sinister and compelling new play, performed by an all-female cast at the Courtyard Theatre.

The play opens with six women awakening in what looks like an abandoned warehouse, each of them dressed as a 1980s cartoon character. They’ve been friends since primary school, it transpires, and are now in their late 20s.

With the arrival of Tabitha Porlock – another friend – the girls cast their minds back to the eve of their adolescence. Along with predictable recollections of toys, pets and imaginary friends, they start to excavate darker memories – which lead to the revelation of a deadly secret.

Lucy Fazey is convincing as the troubled Tabitha, who hoards relics from her childhood into ‘memory palaces’ – a concept recently popularised by BBC’s Sherlock. Perched on the edge of the stage, with the air of a child showing off at a spelling bee, she gleefully recites each stop on the Northern line via Bank.

This is not a relaxing evening: as resentments surface, most of the lines are spat across the stage and the oestrogen level is almost too much to bear. The only relief comes from Snowdon’s ingenious invented urban legends – some inspired from his own childhood – such as a monster made from Findus Crispy Pancakes and Chicken Drummers and the Beast of Bakerloo which had younger members of the audience in stitches.

A clever set design by Ian Latimer suggests an eerie memory junkyard, scattered with old toys. Meanwhile, fantasy fiction writer Catherine Webb’s lighting and Becky Evans’ costumes – ranging from that of a bedraggled Roman centurion to a Care Bear outfit – give the overall impression of a weird school play, faded by memory.

In the end, though, Snowdon’s rather random scrapbook of memories leaves the audience possibly even more confused than the characters themselves. Until December 8.

* The Cat’s Mother is at the Courtyard Theatre in Bowling Green Walk, N1, until December 8. Tickets from TicketWeb on 0844 477 1000 or www.ticketweb.co.uk.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The Cabin In The Woods filmmaker is being linked to the latest big screen outing of everyone’s favourite web-slinger.

Read more

The Hunger Games actress could be in the frame for a film version of Lynsey Addario’s memoirs.

Read more

The former Oasis star will join Portishead and Alt-J at the Suffolk music, comedy and arts event.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Quizzes

Upton Park (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

West Ham is a unique football club and a day out at the Boleyn Ground can be an unforgettable experience.

Read more
Name the Charlton players from their Wikipedia careers!

Charlton are a club with a rich history and tradition, with academy prospects and club legends stealing the hearts of The Valley crowd.

Read more
Just some funky Instagram photos of London's best borough

Whether your heart belongs in Highbury, you adore Arsenal, or you flirt with Finsbury Park, we’ll test your Islington knowledge with this quiz.

Read more