Review: Bunny

5 star rating
A richly layered and gripping story superbly told through Catherine Lamb's flawless and mesmerising performance.
Bunny at White Bear Theatre

Image: Fabricate Theatre

Closes here: Saturday 27 January 2018

Jack Thorne

Lucy Curtis


Katie - Catherine Lamb


"I think life can be basically divided into two things: suspense and surprise.

I prefer surprise to suspense.

But that’s basically because I feel suspense all the time."

A summer of love. A fight. A car chase. A siege.

When Katie's boyfriend is attacked on the streets of Luton, she is propelled outside of her borders on to the frontier of council estates and concrete jungles.

Amidst the sweltering heat, the baying for blood and longing for love, Katie is forced to decide her future.

A vital tale for our time by multi-award winning playwright, Jack Thorne, Bunny is an interrogation into the mind of one young girl struggling to find her place within a modern world lacking intimacy and connection.

Join her in overcoming barriers as she rides through one extraordinary evening.


ActDrop reviews

Peter Brown

Performance date: Wednesday 17 January 2018
Review star rating image for 3 stars

Even if this play by Jack Thorne is firmly grounded in the stark reality of modern Britain, there's nonetheless a fairy tale flavour about it with suspense, danger and menace lurking barely beneath its surface.

Bunny at Tristan Bates Theatre

Catherine Lamb as Katie, photo by Michael Lindall

Director Lucy Curtis and designer Lucy Weller seem to have picked-up on that - at least to some extent - since the basic elements in the sparse setting for this monologue are some fluffy cartoon-like clouds that hang innocently from the ceiling, changing colour to reflect the developing mood in the story.

Maybe it's more apt to describe this piece as an urban fairy tale, since its plot is based in the everyday world yet contains more extraordinary and more sinister ingredients.

It's certainly not a fairy story for children, even if its principle character has only recently stepped into the adult world by turning 18.

Yet it reveals a personality who in some ways embodies innocence, but is tempted by the excitement of danger and power.

On an ordinary day when clarinet-playing Katie meets her older boyfriend, Abe, events quickly develop into a kind of manhunt after he is attacked by an Asian boy and some friends fetch-up to seek out the perpetrator in a kind of quest for revenge.

In-between recounting the events on this sweltering day in her Luton home town, Katie also reveals details about her life and personality.

Katie is hardly an innocent Goldilocks, even if she's merely on the cusp of adulthood.

On the contrary, she's something of a schemer who in the past has surreptitiously carried-out unpleasant actions against a teacher and her Guardian-reading parents - keying her father's car with an expletive, for example, and adding raw mince to a teacher's drying clothes in a laundrette.

In Jack Thorne's award-winning play we find a rich vein of humour sloshing around amidst the chilling undercurrents of the events we follow.

At the same time, Mr Thorne's brilliantly written script provides gripping drama that evokes an unnerving sense that all is not going to end happily ever after.

Lucy Curtis's formidable and meticulous direction elicits spot-on timing both from the technical department - with snappy sound and lighting - as well as in Catherine Lamb's totally believable, energetic and enormously compelling characterisation of Katie.

Ms Curtis's work is augmented by incredibly impressive movement direction from Angela Gasparetto who cleverly injects engaging vitality and raw energy into Ms Lamb's spirited and alluring portrayal.

Unlike most fairy tales, there's no tidy conclusion at the end of this play, with the outcome of the day's events left hanging somewhat enigmatically, but all the cards - and power - end-up in Katie's hands.

The big question we're left to decide - and perhaps the whole point of this unsettling urban chronicle - is what Katie will do with the power and knowledge she now holds, and that is the fundamental question we all have to answer as we take our place in the adult world.

Undoubtedly, though, others will find different issues in what is a richly layered and gripping story superbly told through Catherine Lamb's flawless and mesmerising performance.

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