Photography by Ali Wright
ANGELA - Kirsty King
TABATHA - Casey Bird
BRANDY - Alex Milne
The royal, the witch and the popstar have more in common than one might imagine.
They may be liars, but aren't we all?
A dark comedy unravelling the blurred lines between who we are and who we want to be.
Embarking on an unwanted journey of self discovery or self creation, three young women are faced with a cloudy truth.
A story of doubt, stubbornness and intense delusion unfolds alongside unconventional friendship.
Three distinctive characters take to the stage to tell us about themselves in this short play by Alex Milne.
Though MEGA largely feels like a string of monologues, it also brings the individuals together at times to illustrate interactions between them.
But the first part is indeed a series of monologues from three young women.
Prim, proper and plummy, Kirsty King's Angela is reserved and refined, seems to come from a by-gone era and possibly be of noble (or even royal) birth.
Casey Bird's Tabatha is a more forthright, blunt and sometimes abrasive person who claims to have extraordinary powers.
And the playwright and director opts to take on the third character in her play to describe Brandy, who appears to have acquired considerable success in the popular music business.
A sparse set - used for all 3 of the characters to introduce themselves - seems to suggest that these women live together, perhaps as flatmates.
Later on, we find that may not be the case, but we're never definitively told where these women reside - though they do seem trapped somewhere, unable to escape and facing unexplained restrictions, for example on their use of mobile phones.
There are hints in the play that might lead one to jump to conclusions about what these characters have in common.
But Alex Milne constructs her neatly written work so that there is ample room for ambiguity in how we interpret who these characters are and what is happening to them.
There are indications that each of the women is involved in a charade - living a lie by pretending to be someone they are not.
That offers some wider applicability asking us, perhaps, to consider how and to what extent that applies to all of us.
There are enticing roles for actors here, given idiosyncratic characters well-matched with appealingly humorous dialogue.
And the very able cast seize on those opportunities with nonchalant relish, delivering strong, highly engaging and credible performances.
Directing her own work, Alex Milne moves the play along fluidly enough, but there were times when some of the interactive dynamics in the ensemble scenes seemed a touch underplayed - a matter which might have been resolved with the input of an independent director.
Still, the overall combination of extraordinary characters and well-written humour proves satisfying in terms of entertainment value, and the play certainly offers much to mull-over and digest post-show.
Links and related content
ActDrop listing for Tristan Bates Theatre
Our show listing for MEGA
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