Overstretched Boobs: Streaming At The Pleasance
Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆
We start with a curvaceous redhead gyrating in a red-lit Amsterdam window, and that’s Streaming’s first flaw: by telling its interesting three-stranded story in flashback it has already given too much away — a fundamental mistake for the sex workers this piece is all about.
The characters are sharply drawn and brought to life by three brilliantly realistic actors. Jon Welch’s dialogue has the absolute ring of authenticity for 15-year old Fulham schoolgirl and Katherine Parkinson-voiced Rosa (Anna Munden), who’d like to be a Goth but is disqualified for being ginger, and for her broken city financier dad Toby (Angus Brown) whose one catastrophic deal has brought them to a dismal council flat and the solace of his vodka bottle. Best of all, for their quirky new neighbour Candy (Kyla Goodey), an agoraphobically comic stripper with leaking implants who makes easy money from webcam sex and spends it just as quickly on QVC and Tesco.com.
Can you work out the plot yet? Think Dad tries it on with the stripper who then recruits the schoolgirl? The mechanically ingenious set whirls and twirls and plays Transformers before your very eyes, there’s puppetry which is amusing but ultimately intrusive — although the self-spanking flying monkey is a hoot. An Over The Rainbow soundtrack reinforces the idea the three personalities have the same flaws as Dorothy’s animal chums in Wizard of Oz (short on brain, heart, courage) — a meme hammered home with a lack of subtlety of which even Disney would be ashamed — but you find you’re jumping to the conclusions long before the play arrives there.
Pared back to the script, and with cuts to remove the repetitions, this could be a vibrant and visceral piece. There’s both warmth and jeopardy in the burgeoning friendship of Rosa and Candy, a full-scale contemporary tragedy in Toby’s decline, and dramatic outbreaks of emotion: but because of the bells and whistles of the staging what could be an excellent and connected piece of theatre is first masked and then stifled. We know, you could pay extra for that in Amsterdam.
And if Candy's a total agoraphobic, how did she get her boobs done?
Streaming continues at The Pleasance, Carpenters Mews, Islington until 30 November. Tickets £12 from the theatre website. Guided for audiences 16+. We saw this production on press tickets from Mobius PR.
Last Updated 15 November 2014