Splintered @ Bedlam Theatre

A sparkling cabaret about the experiences of queer Caribbean women that will tickle your sides as much as it will touch your heart

Review by Sophie Smith | 16 Aug 2019
  • Splintered

From doing shots from a mooncup hanging on a necklace, to coming out over the phone to a traditional Caribbean mother via an intermittently terrible signal across an ocean, Splintered is a carnival rainbow of a cabaret, as politically poignant as it is hilariously witty.

Against a backdrop of brightly coloured streamers, Sanaa Byfield, Charlotte Dowding and Natasha Simone invite the audience to join them for an evening of relatable faux pas, from falling in love with your best friend to more distinct experiences of the misogyny and homophobia that have defined and curtailed the lives of many in the Caribbean.

There is a sense of ease with which the three actresses hold themselves on stage – both towards the audience, and towards each other – all with a familiarity towards their space in relation to the experiences they are retelling. Many of those retellings are informed by a series of interviews they undertook in Trinidad and Tobago, with LGBT women and around the lives they lead in a society that not only denies their existence but punishes it.

The poignancy of this message comes across not only in our education throughout the show, but in the familiarity with which the three actresses move, making witty comments and sketches that make it all the difficult when the laughter dies in our throats. Reshaping iconic works such as Chicago and outrageous rap songs, Splintered makes a distinct cultural and personal experience relatable universally, whilst making our sides ache in the process.

Not only an evening of glorious giggling and wonderfully silly sniggering, Lagahoo Productions’ latest show is an insight to the specific experiences of LGBT women from and in the Caribbean. It informs the way in which this experience has come to exist politically and historically, presenting a distinct experience that can be experienced universally.

Splintered, Bedlam Theatre, until 25 Aug (not 20), 9.30pm, £8-10