Seven Methods Of Killing Kylie Jenner Is Pointed Social Media Satire
The LOLs rarely let up in this satire of the social media age, but Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner does more than eviscerate the titular influencer and others of her Instagram ilk. It is a trenchant, political, and memorably staged show. Beneath a sculptural mass of rope that evokes webs and even nooses, we behold the unfolding of the mother of all Twitter storms. It's Jasmine Lee-Jones's method to dissect modern racism, colourism, and homophobia.
Outraged that the world's youngest self-made billionaire seems to personify the problem of cultural appropriation, Cleo (Danielle Vitalis), a black, dark-skinned woman, targets Kylie on Twitter. Her incitement to violence against the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan is met with a wave of vitriol — hateful tweets read out or enacted in some bewildering passages — and Cleo's friend Kara (Tia Bannon), a black, mixed-race woman, attempts to talk her friend out of taking her stand.
The two are a sparky double act, and their characters' exchanges serve only to underline many of Cleo's grievances — in turn testing their sisterly bond. White society's seeming preference for black women of a lighter skin tone (the Beyonces of this world) comes into focus as the pair share their experiences — although Kara's own story highlights challenges of acceptance for a mixed-race person.
A conciliatory, even saccharine ending is quite unexpected, but otherwise this is a sharp and provoking watch. Vitalis and Bannon bristle under director Milli Bhatia. The former particularly, in an impassioned monologue, spoken with a brooding cadence that recalls spoken-word poetry.
Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, Royal Court, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS, £18. until 27 July
Last Updated 12 July 2019