Hillary's Kitchen @ theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
An unclear attempt at feminist comedy
An impression of Hillary Clinton so diluted as to be wholly unrecognisable, guzzles wine in her kitchen following her defeat at the 2016 US Election. One by one, noteworthy women from history appear around the table, and that’s about as far as I can decipher what this concept was meant to be. These main dining room scenes are unevenly broken up by confusing and altogether pointless cutaways to other sketches.
The piece is one big pacing issue; it feels like it’s going nowhere because it is. Apart from being slow, the script itself is riddled with throwaway lines with no clear purpose, not to mention a plethora of tone-deaf attempts to be culturally relevant, i.e. mentions of man flu and dick pics. Kudos to Louise Tozer (as Virginia Woolf) for giving the only watchable performance in an hour that is otherwise one prolonged audience cringe. Her dialogue seems marginally better researched and articulated than any of the other characters, and she exhibits no more energy than the rest of the painfully relaxed cast. “Most Uncomfortable Moment” goes to Dido asking Frida Kahlo “What are you?” in a conversation regarding whether or not Kahlo was a woman of colour. Shocker, though following Dido pointing out the show’s visceral lack of women of colour before the script swiftly moves on, centres every white woman’s narrative over those of the non-white characters.
This show would not have been such a let-down if the premise hadn’t seemed exciting on paper. Its best hope is to be stripped all the way back so that Hillary and Virginia alone might be seen to have some intimate and authentic conversations.
Hillary's Kitchen, theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until 26 Aug, £10-8
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