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A CurtainUp London Review
Spur of the Moment
The idea is a good one dealing with underage sex as girls reach puberty earlier and earlier and can be sexually provocative looking way beyond their years. Anya Reiss' scenes with Delilah and her grinning, voyeuristic and nosy friends who chant the lyrics and ape the dance routines of High School Musical (they are in fact at 12 slightly too old for this fan base which is 7, 8, 9) are annoying but would not be out of place in a television writer's script for a teen drama. Two of her friends leer and snoop on the arguments in the Evans' house and ask awkward questions pretending to be innocents at work when they are in fact Jezebels and well aware of the embarrassment they are causing.
The other part of the play which is deeply uncomfortable to watch is the constant sniping between Delilah's parents. Her mother Vicky (Sharon Small) is red raw from the hurt of the affair her rather unattractive husband Nick has had with his boss. He is smirky and crass and has no idea how to heal the rift he has caused. Compounding the betrayal are financial concerns. Where the writing seems to let her down, it is in dealing with Daniel's issues of self harming where the soap operatic melodrama takes over at a superficial level. However as Daniel and Delilah get closer, we realise how vulnerable Delilah is in her wildly unrealistic romantic fantasy as she imagines herself in love with Daniel.
Max Jones' two floor set encompasses realistically the Evans' house and allows for simultaneous playing of parents downstairs and Daniel and Delilah above. I loved the scene in the kitchen when Vicky opens the fridge door and the teenage girls tumble into the house from within the fridge. There is also a promising interaction when all four members of the household attempt to sit down on sofas and watch a Batman movie Dark Knight to a stream of negativity and interruptions from Vicky in this bickering, squabbling marriage.
Anna Reiss has some ideas which translate dramatically but for theatre, her writing will need more invention and better structure but I am sure there is a television market for her work.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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