‘Grange Hill’ meets ‘The Matrix’ in a Bollywood ‘Thelma and Louise’ stylee.
Two girls in a London comp are visited and befriended by a mischievous incarnation of the destructive Hindu god Kalki in Aditi Brennan Kapil’s would-be outrageous mini-saga. The rampant deity looks and talks like a jet-setting Chelsea girl, which gives the girls a lot of cred by association, especially the slightly frumpier one who’s dealing with sexual harassment in the playground.
Kapil’s play has already surfaced in the US but is now closing the Gate’s Who Does She Think She Is? season. It’s certainly a novel piece of writing, set mostly in a police interview room in which a long-suffering plod is trying to get to the bottom of the girls’ goddess story.
Kapil doesn’t settle for dreary old reality; she wants to get in touch with something much racier and cosmic. In doing so, she pushes a few theatrical boundaries and gives us a sort of ‘Grange Hill’-meets-‘The Matrix’ in a Bollywood ‘Thelma and Louise’ stylee. The language is all London English, accessorised with teenage postures and attitude-heavy snarls.
Alex Brown’s production is set in a drab grey interview room with frosted glass and carpet tiles which, thanks to Madeleine Girling’s nifty design, opens up into the cosmos with the help of directional disco lighting. Although the show puts all three girls through their paces, it also gives the impression of being in a hurry to get the 75 minutes over.
Angela Terence and Jordan Loughran are wholly watchable as a couple of lippy teenagers, as is Trevor Michael Georges as the warm, earthy cop. Amrita Acharia’s lipsticked Kalki likes getting soaked in stage rain and appears to be engaged in a valiant one-woman wet T-shirt competition. But neither she nor the production seem convinced of her godliness and it reminded me of Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’: she’s not the Messiah, she’s just a very naughty girl.
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