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Meat Cute

by on 17 August 2021

Bare Bones Dating

Meat Cute

by Bibi Lucille 

Patch Plays at the Hen and Chickens, Camden Fringe until 17th August, then at Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham until 23rd October

Review by Heather Moulson

A fringe festival anywhere exudes trepidation in the promise of sheer talent, and the Camden Fringe is no exception.  This production in a truly old-school pub in St Paul’s Road, Islington, with its steep stairs and dimly-lit auditorium certainly came up with the goods.  Writer and star of this one-woman show, Bibi Lucille has been known to us previously in Space Doctor at the OSO, Barnes and This Was a Man at the Leicester Square Theatre.    Already making us aware of her versatility as an actress, going on to display further skills in her latest vibrant role. 

A good start saw Bibi in orange ensemble matching the stark set and camp fur chair, entering the small stage accompanied by loud rap music.   Her stage presence enables a strong credible portrayal of the self-doubt of her character, in what seemingly is her desperation in looking for the right man.    The misery of youth, and the anguish of a young woman, came over and touched the audience.  It rings with a clear note of truth.

We shuffled with uncomfortable memories as Bibi recalls a man telling her “if you lost a stone, you’d be stunning”.  Many of us have heard crass remarks like this.  Her power games with men are sad and sordid, yet endearing and enticing; not to mention extraordinarily watchable and consistent as her true motive unravels. 

As well as Tinder sharing, fourteen swipes in fact, we also get an insight into her call centre day job, which she sabotages with relish, and a cold home life.   Although this almost too is stark, its details are colourful, such as the vodka-soaked cut-glass mother and, frankly sad, brother, making the twisted family intriguing. 

After luring potential carnivores on Tinder those fourteen times, she is confronted by these very men waiting for her in her modest flat.  They have literally come back to bite her, a great near-climax before this apparent long quest for happiness takes on a very different dimension.  Then true anarchy comes into view.   Romance becomes brutal as the heroine tangles in true love and animal rights protests, making the message of the text clear and succinct.   

A happy ending?  Will there ever be one with this issue?  However, this well-written, slickly acted and beautiful directed (by Anastasia Bunce) piece will at least have people listening, and noticing. 

Heather Moulson, August 2021

Photography by Flick Isaac-Chilton 

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