Buggy Baby Uses Absurdism To Confront Society's Darkest Ills
Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.
Refugees, drug addiction, mental health issues and poverty. Despite its colourful lighting and two fifths of the cast playing bunny rabbits (seriously), Josh Azouz's Buggy Baby was never going to be an easy watch.
The play tells the story of two refugees in London: teenage girl Nur (Hoda Bentaher) and the older Jaden (Noof McEwan). At the centre of their lives is Nur's daughter Aya (played by definitely-not-a-baby Jasmine Jones), who Jaden looks after while Nur is at college. So far so simple — except Jaden is a drug addict who hallucinates massive bunny rabbits with burning red eyes.
What makes the play so affecting is the incredible performance of Jones as the titular baby. Despite the undeniable reality that Jones is a fully grown woman, she slips into the role of a baby with ease. Thanks to her masterclass in physical acting, the audience doesn't doubt that this is an innocent baby living in this terrifying situation.
The play's only downfall is the repetitiveness. In that regard it mirrors life — so many in abusive relationships know they need a way out, but repeatedly don't leave. This is a powerful representation of reality, but repitition is narratively unsatisfying, especially when each scene is so uncomfortable. There's a lot of humour in the production — needed to stop the whole thing becoming unwatchably dark — but after a while, we stopped falling for the laughs because of the tragedy.
The staging of the play is impressive — even if there's a slight over-reliance on a rip-off Inception sound — and the play culminates wonderfully in an absurdist finale befitting such a genius work. However, despite its excellence, we're not sure if we'd recommend the Buggy Baby to anyone. It's just too heartbreaking.
Buggy Baby, The Yard, 2A Queen's Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN, £5-£17, until 31 March 2018.
Last Updated 14 March 2018