Pests

Theatre

Drama

Royal Court Theatre

Until Sun May 4

  • © Jonathan Keenan

    'Pests'

  • © Jonathan Keenan

    'Pests'

  • © Jonathan Keenan

    'Pests'

© Jonathan Keenan

'Pests'

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Willow

I watched this with my husband last night and was blown away. The performances from Kendrick (Rolly) and Mathews (Pink) are absolutely outstanding. Quite simply, it is the best acting I have seen. I was genuinely moved by the dark and unrelenting events which were played out on stage. This was perfectly balanced with lighter, sometimes comical moments that had me in fits of laughter. The script was a fusion of rhythmical colloquial slang that felt raw and gritty, yet strangely poetic. I found myself genuinely caring about the characters and willing them to break away from their cyclical behaviour of drug taking and self-destruction.


The play was utterly engaging from beginning to end. Matthews’ is brimming with energy and totally captivating. She switches throughout from manic to wounded and vulnerable. Kendrick’s emotion also feels very real and I could almost feel her pain when her attempts to make a better life for herself were dashed by her sister. Although her character was more unassuming, her performance was equally as remarkable. Despite Pink’s attempts to sabotage her sister’s hopes of a better life, you can sense the unspoken love and loyalty between the two. It is emotionally exhausting, and appears even more so for the actresses who managed to captivate the audience with such a high-energy performance for 1 hour 45 minutes, without an interval.


The play brought up ethical questions for me, which I found myself pondering for quite some time afterwards. It allowed me to better appreciate the grim realities of drug addiction from a unique perspective, that is of Pink and Rolly. The cyclical and intertwined nature of troubled pasts, the prison system, addiction and self-destruction are profound and are portrayed eloquently. I found myself feeling sympathetic towards some of the damaging, and often ruthless, decisions and actions played out, and more appreciative of the enormity involved in breaking away from that lifestyle.


A must see; if nothing else to witness such superb acting.