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Toothpaste Kisses

by on 26 May 2023

Provocative Poignant Parable

Toothpaste Kisses

by Keir Buist

Three Dot Theatre at the Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames until 25th May, then on tour at the Edinburgh Fringe

Review by Nick Swyft

Armed with a short ‘blurb’, as a teaser, I went to see Toothpaste Kisses by Keir Buist at the Kenton Theatre in Henley.  Not knowing what was going to happen, and how it would all turn out, kept me engaged throughout the one hour and ten minute performance, and so I won’t give away any spoilers here.  I don’t think it’s too much to say, however that the play is about fatherhood.

Keir Buist wrote, directed and performed the play, and so it was very much a one man show.  For a play like this, it is a high risk strategy, requiring all these skills to be top notch.  I’m more than happy to report that Keir excelled in all of these roles, providing a production that brought a manly tear to the eye of this reviewer, and judging by the sniffles around me, to many other audience members too.  This was provocative entertainment at its best.

Of course, there were one or two minor niggles.  There was little or no reference to the involvement of either set of parents.  Some of the side characters seemed annoyingly one dimensional and even monstrous.  Where did that first scar come from, and would the medical staff really have reacted the way they did?  I only mention these things as something the writer might want to think about, as they didn’t seriously detract from the quality of the production.

Having said it is a one man show, this isn’t quite true.  The appearance of young Sophie, playing Evie, at the end provided a delightful flash of sunlight that lifted the play to a new high.

The Kenton Theatre is one of five finalists in this year’s Muddy Stiletto award for Theatre and Arts Venues in Oxfordshire.  The appearance of Toothpaste Kisses at the Kenton is only a short preview, so if you want to see it you’ll have to take yourself off to Edinburgh, where it will be performed at The Fringe.   It is worth the trip and if you’re going to the Edinburgh Fringe, it’s thoroughly recommend that you go to see this touching play.

Nick Swyft, May 2023

Photography by Tom Daniels at TMD Photography

From → Drama, Kenton Theatre

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