Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis, Park Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until January 4, 2020


The title says it all. You know you're in for a lot of fun and this play lives up to its billing. What do you give to your dominatrix when she turns forty? It's a question we've all asked ourselves, and what we get here is an amusing and provocative answer. This is a piece that looks at and laughs at role playing, how it can liberate us and how it can trap us. Everyone from Chinese Elvis to dominatrix, Josie, has an alter ego that either supports them or constrains them. Coming to terms with the authentic self and enjoying the possibility of playing with the notion of other selves is both the challenge and the solution. This is a very funny play with a lot of heart and wisdom that is beautifully performed by a cast which never misses a beat. Sioned Jones is quite wonderful as the obsessive compulsive cleaner who grows into a new persona and Andrew P. Stephen is delightful as the dry cleaner who accepts his complexity. Kellie Batchelor is completely believable as the age-challenged dominatrix, Josie, who is ready to hang up her riding crop. Charlie Bence pulls off no small acting feat in bringing to life Josie's daughter, Brenda-Marie. She is both amusing and endearing as the child with a learning disability who dreams of being a figure skater. Matt Lim is hilariously awkward as the would-be Elvis who is also coming to terms with his real self. Jessica Forrest gets it just right as the judgmental daughter who finally comes to terms with the complexities of integrating reality and fantasy in people's lives. Charlotte Jones has written a rare thing, a delightfully amusing and cleverly thought-provoking piece of theatre. This is a party you're sure to enjoy!

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until January 4, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:45 pm
Thu & Sat: 3:15 pm
Park Theatre
Nearest tube: Finsbury Park Station
https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/martha-josie-and-the-chinese-elvis

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