A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca


08 March 2024
Arcola Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Actors East is an independent black box theatre and acting studio in Dalston, East London, helping unfunded creatives develop and produce new work for new audiences. Offering pay-what-you-can rehearsal spaces and world class training, AE is fostering a community of unfunded actors, playwrights, directors and artists to develop a range of new projects.

Casserole, currently playing at the Arcola Theatre, is the first in-house production of Actors East. It is a one-act naturalist play focusing on grief and human relationships.

Kate and Dom are struggling with their relationship, especially since Kate’s mother’s death almost a year prior. With starkly opposing views, and very different relationships to Kate’s late mother, it all comes to a head when Kate suffers a panic attack at a very important work event. She believes her mother is trying to send her signs, but pragmatic Dom opposes her theories with little hesitation.

The short but intense play shows one scene in a relationship that seems doomed from how differently the two people in it have developed and lived in recent months. Dom is out of work, cared for Kate’s mother when she was ill, and seems to feel equally underappreciated and overshadowed by his partner, while Kate struggles with guilt over fighting with her mum and not being around when she died, feeling unsupported in her work, and frustrated with how little Dom contributes to the relationship.

It is a perfectly normal, everyday scene of friction between human beings, with some big revelations coming to light throughout the argument the couple is having. A very intimate and revealing play delving into grief and interpersonal relationships, beautifully presented with care and passion.

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