As part of the little LTF (Liverpool Theatre Festival) season of new works for the stage Kai Jolley’s This Skin of Mine is a charming two hander that deals with a variety of issues including transgender equality, race, domestic abuse and care within a family unit.
The subjects covered in this short play can be quite overwhelming and deep in context, but Jolley’s script has a light, intelligent and highly likable touch, veering as it does between outright high drama and dark comic camp.
The two actors (Eden Jodie and Janelle Thompson) convey a deep understanding of their characters throughout and instantly connect with the audience. They both give clear and concise performances as the estranged siblings attending to an ailing mother in the family home.
It is revealed during the course of Jolley’s play that the brother has transitioned into Sarah much to the amazement of her sister and this leads to some frank conversations surrounding gender and identity between the two of them.
There is one particularly strong monologue from Sarah during the last half of the play that is quite moving and poignant – it says a lot about our LGBTQ+ community and the decisions that we all make.
I must admit it does sound quite heavy going given the area of discussion and topics covered but the script and direction are both superbly on point and Jolley manages to keep the narrative flowing at a good pace. There was a lot going on in this play and I think it would be good to see the script develop into a larger piece for the theatre.
It deserves it.
Reviewer: Kiefer Williams
Reviewed: 15th July 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★