Bitches in the Ford KA

Mon 13th – Sat 25th August 2018

reviews

Millie Haswell

at 04:07 on 17th Aug 2018

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“I told my Mum I’m sleeping over at yours!”

“And I told my Mum I’m sleeping over at yours!”

It’s a tale as old as time, and yet Cold Dinner Theatre tell it so vividly that you feel as though you yourself are a GCSE student with a fake ID and a bottle of Sainsbury’s Own red wine.

Three teenage girls pile into a spanking new Ford KA with the intention of a big night out in Brighton – boys are enticed along with aubergine emojis and many a tongue wiggle from the cavalier ‘liability’ Sasha, played by an explosively funny Affton Fay. “I love a peperami, me” she declares at one point, sliding the whole thing, wrapper and all, into her mouth.

Meanwhile Emma, designated driver and goody two shoes with a suppressed desire to chug "voddie" and grind on "fit" Jamie, gradually spirals into existential crisis as the nights progress. Her qualms of never having driven with other people are not soothed by Gee and Sasha, who at one point scream at her to follow a car full of boys. A hysterical sequence follows, the trio pantomiming having "a really good time" for the benefit of the other car – hair is flicked violently, laughs are shrieked, bras are hastily readjusted.

“…. They’re driving away… like my Dad…” Gee presses her nose against the window as the other two studiously avoid looking at her. Characteristically of Cold Dinner, the rug is pulled out from under the audience’s feet, moments of pandemonium followed by pauses just long enough to make us squirm. Later, a belting karaoke in the KA is cut short when Emma runs over a bird. The comic timing is impeccable, the three performers in tune with one another like synchronised swimmers in crop tops and false eyelashes.

It’s stylised and slick, a highly structured kind of chaos, compellingly confident but with an uncontrollable energy climaxing in a sickening crunch of seagull bones. All in a night’s work for the bitches in the Ford KA.

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Georgina Macrae

at 10:02 on 17th Aug 2018

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'Bitches in the Ford KA' is not just a good comedy – it’s a lively night-starter. Three girls have fun delivering some cleverly-coordinated and brilliantly simple laughs on stage.

The premise of the show, a road-trip to a Brighton Club with three seventeen year-olds, seems a daft. And it is. One solid source of humour in the show is how much older than seventeen these actresses are. Lines like, “I shaved my arse for this” had members of the audience in stitches. I feared it would just be set in ‘the Ford KA’ but the action followed a journey, both literally and in the development of the comedy. It was never predictable, despite the easy setting of the show. The show has great, well-planned moments – from choreographed "SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS" dancing (really gets you grooving) to a song about shitty men trying to get your number on London train-lines.

My reservations with the show are that the characters don’t really ever seem good friends to one another. The fun they have creating hype in the Ford KR for their trip is a bit aggressive. I also wasn’t in love with the use of clubbing in a comedy, but their dancing was fantastic, I was frequently impressed with how the show kept momentum, and it was infectious fun.

The three actresses all prove themselves to be skilled performers. There are clearly different characters, but I don’t know how to describe each one: maybe as the earnest “I have to get back for DofE volunteering” driver, the quieter/moodier one, and the feisty attention-seeker. The audience are invited to dance with the three teenagers in the “club”, and it’s really tempting to get up and twerk with them.

The throwback of “I blame Shania (Twain)” got me giggling, and I think the premise of this show is effective because any audience member, from eighteen to thirty-something, can happily relate to the melodramatic action on stage. Someone seeking a pre-lash event should grab a drink and go party with Beth Johnstone, Leah Kirby and Affton Fay!

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