Theatre in Wales

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At Company of Sirens

Company Of Sirens- Dark Vanilla Jungle , Chapter, Cardiff , March 10, 2015
At Company of Sirens by Company Of Sirens- Dark Vanilla Jungle
Starting on a minimalist black stage illuminated by a  single light bulb, Dark Vanilla Jungle takes the audience on an uncomfortable emotional journey through 90 minutes of raw discomfort.

Through a single monologue spoken by a damaged 15 year old girl called Andrea, the sheer force of the writing and the subtle use of lighting and sound effects makes you feel as if you’re seeing the whole host of characters she encounters and the harrowing situations she find herself in.

Philip Ridley’s skill as a writer shines through in his layering of her story that begins as a fairly familiar account of a broken home and sexual exploitation but quickly morphs into something more mythical and surreal.

Recurring snatches of dialogue weave an almost circular narrative around concepts of motherhood, love, sex and relationships that seem doomed to repeat themselves as Andrea recounts her life story, framed by her relationship with her own appalling parents and the predators who cross her path.

Increasingly traumatised, Andrea’s  grip on reality loosens and she begins to frame her experiences through the often misogynistic way society sees and judges women and shapes their stories. And it’s a shining triumph for the aptly named Seren Vickers whose raw physical and emotional presence screams ‘star in the making!’ 

The performance builds to a twisted ‘fairy tale’ climax that’s Grimm in more ways than one – a gripping and disturbing urban fable!

Reviewed by: Beverley Jones

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