Sunday, October 2

Boot – Lion & Unicorn

A bright red sofa, comfy carpet and warm amber lighting welcome the audience into Karen’s intimate living room. The first and only guest here is a visibly anxious Emma (Kate O’Rourke), touching up her dress and make-up to possibly hide her internal distress. Enter Karen (Eliza Williams). One nervous energy is met with another awkward one. As the story unfolds, the reason for this tension gets clearer (rather, more complex). The two old friends are (seemingly) meeting each other after a long time but as the story unfolds, we see how intertwined their lives have actually been and how much more consciously connected they are about to be.

Dramaturgically, Jen Wooster plays with the different levels of awareness in the room. Karen has information that she is desperate to reveal; Emma knows nothing about it, although she ought to; the audience discovers the happenings at the same time as Emma. The dark themes are conveyed through well-timed interjections of humour, making it a breezy watch.

Both actors are incredible. They capture not just the different kinds of tension but also the many in-between emotions with great energy and precision. Individually and together, they make the audience laugh and hold tight onto their seats. The lighting is used sparingly but precisely, adding a layer of mood at the end without overpowering the performance. Williams’ snappy writing paired with Deirdre Daly’s clean and simple direction make for a slick one act show.

The performance is riveting and entertains well on a weekday evening. The cast and crew are all fantastic. The only question I have is, why this particular story and why now?

Boot continues until the 5th March, https://www.thelionandunicorntheatre.com/whats-on#/all

Reviewer: Aditi Dalal

Reviewed: 2nd March 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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