Friday, 28 December 2012

Jumpy: Theatre Review

Jumpy, Written by April De Angelis, opened at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court in late 2011 with the production recently transferring to the West End, opening on the 16thAugust at the Duke of York's Theatre. The story follows Hilary who is a working mum who has settled with her family in London, within the play she faces a divorce from her husband and a rocky relationship with her 15 year old daughter. The storyline made me feel like it was going to be like a soap on stage, it was far from it. April De Angelis writing in this play is fantastic, she's got a serious drama that everyone can watch and relate to but has made it into a comedy. Whilst watching it I could see a lot of myself, my family and most likely every other family in the country portrayed in this play! Very much the same sort of humour as the BBC series 'My Family'.
It is filled with laughs all throughout, however it has a very serious tone; it speaks out to anyone who's struggled at any point in their life.

The lead character Hilary goes to reach for a glass of wine whenever she faces any sort of trouble, the play is reflects so many people's lives and coats it with comedy but deep down we can see that this isn't right. April De Angelis puts today's society and the issues we face every day on stage for all of us to see and makes us ask questions to ourselves about our lives.... Whilst also laughing at how ridiculous some of the arguments we have with our family are! Nina Raine's direction worked brilliantly with April De Angelis script, every inch of it has been thought about and most importantly it has been made real. A lot of the time nowadays with these 'meaningful, take a look at your life' dramas they feel the need to fill it with stuff you have to think about for hours whereas this was completely real. Yes, there were things that contributed to the themes in the play but you were not bombarded with them which meant that this play can appeal to so many people.
Lizzie Clachan's design was very clever. The whole set was white which meant that you can place yourself into the situations, A very intelligent way to get the meaning of the play across.
Would just like to mention Crimson Skye, what a fantastic Burlesque Consultant she was (To find out what I'm talking about, go see the play!). If the only reason you see this show is for the Burlesque bit, then it'll be worth it. Tasmin Greig gave a fantastic performance as Hilary, having to capture so many people and put them into one role must have been a hard job. She makes you feel for her, a woman who has a crumbling relationship with both her husband and her daughter who has also lost her job whilst having a midlife crisis! A lot is on this characters shoulders, no wonder she's always got a bottle of wine at hand! Don't blame her! Bel Powley as Hilary's daughter, Tilly, does a great performance as the annoying teenager.
Whilst watching her I could so see a lot of my friends (and a little bit of myself in her....) in her so she also captured her character fantastically. Doon Mackichan as Hilary's friend Frances was fantastic; the highlight was definitely her 'moment' at the end of Act One. Her portrayal of the struggling, middle aged actress was hilarious and a fantastic addition to the cast but by no means stole any of the limelight from Tasmin Greig which shows great skill from her. The rest of the cast had small roles and none stood out more than the other, however a special mention must got to Seline Hizli who played pregnant 16 year old, Lyndsey. Very comical role but at one point in the show when they were discussing teenage pregnancy she was in the middle of it and as an actress she handled that situation very well. This play has been brilliantly written and it would be nice to see this play run for years but it only on a limited run so make sure you get down and see it before it closes on the 3rdNovember!

Rating: *****

Jumpy played at the Duke of York's Theatre and closed on the 3rd November 2012

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