Every time something has gone wrong for Chloe and Danielle, every time something has been taken away, someone else has been behind it. It’s time the tables turned.
Review by Laura Peterson
I’ll tell you what there is a lack of, angry women. Women who stick a massive middle finger up towards societal expectations. On return from success in Edinburgh, Middle Child gave the stage to just that. I Hate Alone follows the hilarious and yet very problematic journey of Chloe (Rachel Barnes) and Danielle (Larner-Wallace Taylor), two teenage “delinquents” taking action against personal injustice. As they nervously enter a naked instrumental set, they acknowledge the awkward convention that is performer and audience member. It feels like a gig, and it is, with a heavy story to tell.
The girls take us back to when they first met as children right up until the present day. Both Larner and Rachel managed to upkeep a fiercely engaging duologue with only themselves and each other to play from. Along with such an embellished backstory, their chemistry is what makes them so alive. Larner as Danielle leads, commands and asserts her authority in every situation she is faced with. Rachel as Chloe follows a puppy who lives to please her master.
Their obsession with each other is something more than friendship and it is just this that propels them to the outskirts of normal association. Ostracising themselves, they seek brutal revenge to just about anyone who has crossed them. S**tty Sandwich Bag is the consequence of an ex’s attitudes and everyone laughed so hard because they related to the bitter truth that we could quite easily bring ourselves to throw a bag of sh*t at the bags of sh*t in our lives. What writer Ellen Brammar has dared to do, is uncover two women stripped back to the bone, from all patriarchal decoration and what’s underneath is a vexation towards this iniquity. Middle Child has given a platform to these extreme Thelma and Louise types who are just simply pissed off with having to take a step back in the shadows. So we find ourselves humouring the journey of Chloe and Danielle because they are relentless in coming forward and making their point.
The collaboration of this play is obvious to see and its success is in the talent of all that have brought their métier to play. The use of James Frewer’s music created resonant storytelling and added a quality of emotion we could feel in the beat. Ellen has written a brilliantly penned tragicomedy that we identify with on many levels. Leading ladies Rachel and Larner are the adroit anti-heroines we grow to route for and it’s director Paul Smith, who has shaped something so powerfully entertaining. This is not theatre as you imagine, this is theatre in alternative spaces and everyone is welcome to laugh, cry and celebrate angry women ripe for anarchy.
Browse the Middle Child Website for more info. HERE
Next available showings:
Sunday 22 October @ The Raine Club, Hull (FREE, Non-Ticketed)
Doors at 7pm, starts at 7.30pm.
Thursday 26 October @ The Peacock, Sunderland
Starts at 7.30pm.