The Chapel Play-house (venue)
12 October 2019 (released)
15 October 2019
I was curious to see ‘The Chapel play-house’, a new fringe theatre in the basement of hipster café bar, ‘Bread & Rose@The Chapel’ opened by the team behind ‘The Bread and Roses Theatre’ in Clapham. This one’s centrally located in an unassuming grey block, just down Grey’s Inn road, five minutes from Kings Cross. Once you step inside there’s a buzz about the place with some very reasonable cocktails to add to the fun. The line up for the theatre looks pretty varied too, with theatre, comedy and cabaret clearly intending to draw in a diverse audience.
On Friday and Saturday night (plus relaxed matinees) The female Edit took over with a smorgasbord of new writing about what it means to be a mother or to be child free. This creative collective formed in 2018 with the aim of celebrating the work and lives of women, with monthly get together’s informing their creative work. There were fourteen pieces making up the show which running at nearly two and half hours, could probably have done with a trim but it was hard to say which should go as the diverse offerings made for a rich and enjoyable evening.
The brief was wide and narratives range from a middle class mother grieving the loss of her trans-gender son to the story of Henrietta Lacks daughter meeting her mother through a vial of her cells, twenty five years after her death. This fascinating piece was inspired by the African-American woman whose cancer cells were immortalised without her families permission. Other works include a well-crafted piece of performance poetry, ‘My Mother’ written by Helen Foster and a reflective scene about a young women needing an abortion in Ireland as she contemplates all the women who came before her. The quality of actors and writing was fairly mixed as you might expect; Sarah Wanedeya should be mentioned for two captivating portrayals of very different middle aged mothers in ‘Happiness Batteries and ‘Mother’s Pride.’
Comic scenes were among the most successful, with a surreal twist from writer Elizabeth Cadwallader as best friends meet to discuss the shocking news that she has been ‘invaded’ (she’s pregnant) and ‘Oeuf’ written by Annie Fox and performed by Avril Poole and Miriam Babooram. Their touching portrayal of the last two eggs in a woman’s body deciding whether to make the final leap down her fallopian tubes is sweet and funny. If you’ve always wondered why older women are more prone to twins, it turns out – the last eggs don’t want to be left alone!