Biting Block Theatre’s Catching Up at TheatreN16 | Review
Written and performed by 2016 ArtsEd graduates, Emily Schofield and Octavia Gilmore, Catching Up is an emotive, tense, two-handed, one-act play exploring a post-university friendship. The play is the girls’ company, Biting Block Theatre’s first production and following performances at Edinburgh’s PBH Free fringe it has been reworked and developed this year.
Becka (Octavia Gilmore) has invited Flo (Emily Schofield) around for a long overdue catch up over a bottle of wine. Whilst the evening starts cordially, the atmosphere begins to change when the subject of Flo’s mysterious older boyfriend is discussed.
Emily Schofield gives a solid performance managing initially to depict a soft /vulnerable side to the working class, less confident, seemingly naïve, Flo before showing a more feisty side following Flo’s verbal exchanges with Becka.
Octavia Gilmore is excellent as the well connected, Becka. Gilmore manages to show Becka’s confident and bossy side well. Following the play’s first twist, which turns their friendship on its head, Gilmore uses a great mixture of delivery and facial expressions as Becka shows a nastier, bitchier side to her friend.
Whilst the story is full of heated conversations between the characters you are not tempted to be on one side or the other as the actresses performances ensure that your sympathy veers between both ladies. It is worth adding that the script is peppered with one-liners as the two recall their first meeting and university life. It is these scenes which give both Schofield and Gilmore the opportunity to show their excellent comic-timing.
The production is well-staged and makes good use of Theatre N16’s new space. Cat Robey’s well-paced direction is in keeping with the piece. The play’s end scene, whilst not surprising, is clever and left me wanting more! Catching Up is a well acted, emotional piece and is well worth going to see.
Review by Karen Pond
They’ve held each other’s hair back in club toilets, squeezed each other’s back spots and shared their deepest secrets. Becka and Flo know everything about each other… at least they think they do. When their catch up takes an unexpected turn, they discover that their lives are more entangled than they could have ever imagined. Shocking revelations spark betrayal, manipulation and sinister revenge. Through the unravelling of this friendship, Catching Up explores what it means to be female in the 21st century and asks: can a woman ever have it all?
Biting Block Theatre presents Catching Up
A one-act play by Octavia Gilmore and Emily Schofield
Written and performed by
Flo – Emily Schofield
Becka – Octavia Gilmore
Directed by Cat Robey
15-17th & 21-24th May
5 Ashley Road, Tottenham, London, N17 9LJ