Sussex Playwrights Reviews: ‘Dead Cat Bounce’

Cast Iron present:

Dead Cat Bounce

Written and directed by Michelle Donkin

‘Lucy Lord has it tough. She has bills to pay, the rent is overdue, and she’s exhausted. You’d think having super powers would make her life easier. Nope. Being super sucks.’

So just where is the line between superhero and supervillain?

Donkin’s writing is chatty, colloquial, and speedily directed, alternating rows and confidences shared in this entertaining two-hander.

It’s a series of very Brighton-now moments; iPhones, Instagram, selfie hashtags and Facebook Lives fleetingly captured, as two friends chat or separate to talk to camera, and perhaps to the police, too.

Chelsea Newton Mountney is Lucy, the newly awakening superhero, battling resentment and exhaustion and sketching in teen trauma. She’s giddy with power and its potential on her fortress of solitude, a windy clifftop with her everpresent phone’s camera her only witness.

Yvette May is her tartly acerbic critical friend Ella, first disbelieving, then a whirl of promoting and merch ideas. Sparking off each other, bickering girls one moment, angsty super woman and confidante the next, it’s pacily performed, with a wash of energy, quite a few laughs, and yes, bounce.

A couple of little tecky points – at the performance, the actor seated stage right needed to turn upstage to speak, which along with the pace, meant some of the dialogue got lost, while a bit of a polish will ease out those few little sound and light cue and prop fumbles

It needs developing; it’s a series of snapshots and an abrupt ending and I’d have liked more. More detail, more development, it feels like the first steps for a piece that could grow, perhaps on film.

Philippa Hammond

Sweet Dukebox, The Southern Belle, 3 Waterloo Street, BN3 1AQ
Friday 6th and Saturday 7th April 2018
8pm (45 mins)
Tickets: £8
18+ due to licensing restrictions at the venue