Meat, Theatre503 - ★★★★★ - Until March 14, 2020

Photographer: Alex Brenner.

Meat takes on an issue that is very much of the moment, the question of consent, but the play's strength is that it is not written about 'an issue'. It deals with a complex, credible relationship between two flawed but likeable people. This is not a didactic diatribe but an extremely well written work which yields a captivating night of theatre. Gillian Greer has a fine ear for dialogue and captures the subtle shades of her characters. We all remember events differently and we all deal with our pasts depending on who we were and who we have become. Memories feed our present reality and our ability to digest them varies considerably. India Mullen is wonderfully believable as Max who can barely cope with her childhood trauma but has also managed to spin it into a career. Her fragility and her fierce attempt to come to terms with her experiences rings completely true. Mullen's excellent performance is beautifully matched by that of Sean Fox as Ronan, the both sensitive and obtuse lad who cannot always disentangle his own mixed motives. Fox strikes just the right balance of charming boy/man and ambitious but insecure achiever. The combination of these two characters dealing with their past in quite different manners is brilliantly complemented by Elinor Lawless as the austere entrepreneur, Jo, who is able to look coldly at both past and present while imposing her will on both of them. Lawless takes a character who could easily have fallen into caricature and makes her real and ultimately sympathetic. Lucy Jane Atkinson has done a first rate job of getting everything out of this fine play and her strong cast. We'd strongly advise that you don't miss this thoroughly engaging and nuanced work about people caught up in questions that are unfortunately often trivialised by their over simplification.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until March 14, 2020
Various show times available (see website below)
Theatre503
Nearest station: Clapham Junction
https://theatre503.com/whats-on/meat/

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