Tuesday, July 5

Meat Cute – Hen & Chickens Theatre

After a successful debut at the Chiswick Playhouse, ‘Meat Cute’ returns to the stage at the Camden Fringe Festival at the Hen & Chickens Theatre.  The play is written and performed by Bibi Lucille and produced by Patch Plays.  Patch Plays was formed in 2020 by Anastasia Bunce and Maria Majewska who are interested in exploring issues such as the environment, and animal ethics and how theatre can throw a spotlight onto these issues.

Lena is on a quest to find her perfect tinder date and she’s on her 3rd guy this week.  In her quest to find that special guy she searches through tinder and decides to go on a date with Chad.  Her previous date had been vegan, and she had walked out on him, but would Chad fare any better?  He has taken her for dinner, and he chose a vegan starter, which was not a good sign, but for his main course he ordered the steak – saved by the cow!  You see, Lena couldn’t work on turning a guy who as already a vegan into a vegan, she needed meat eaters.  After working on Chad, he decided he decides to eat a salad instead of his steak – yes!  Another victory for the cow. 

Director Anastasia Bunce has adapted the script well.  The writing is funny, and Lucille has the energy to carry off all the twists and turns that the script brings.   As joint writer and performer, this seems to work to her advantage as Lucille never hesitates and plays the slightly dotty eccentric vegan activist effortlessly. 

The script has multiple characters which are clearly defined, so we never feel that we are confusing her mother with Steven at work.  The characters are interesting.   Her unemployed, still living at home brother Dave who is 37, wants to be called MC Cold Hustle and there is the very irritating character Tarquin who just likes to hunt and shoot things, then mount them on his wall.

The compact stage at Hen & Chickens is a perfect size for a monologue and with changes in costume from the dressing up box and the red fleecy chair, there is never a dull moment. 

The subject matter could easily become heavy and have a soapbox feel about it, but the superbly written comedy elements within this play means that you hardly feel like there is a message that is being delivered at all. 

The fact that an over population of cows on the planet is slipped in during a comedic scene, so that before you realise it you are laughing and absorbing the facts, without even batting an eyelid.

Patch Plays and Bibi Lucille deserved the huge round of applause that was given by the audience.  This is an excellent play, well written, directed and performed and if the standard remains this high, they are sure to continue to grow as a theatre company.

The show is part of the Camden Fringe Festival, and it is performed at the Hen & Chickens Theatre, and it runs from the 15th – 17th August.  To buy a ticket go to https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/meat-cute/ If you have missed this show at the festival, the show will be revived for a short run at the Bread & Roses Theatre from the 19th-23rd October.

Reviewer:  Caroline Worswick

Reviewed: 16th August 2021

North West End Rating: ★★★★★

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