No Gypsy Child of Mine (4 stars)

This article is from 2008.

No Gypsy Child of Mine

Energetic vaudeville satire

The modern planning consultation process has been described as a circus show, and Caroline David’s play, which follows a travelling community campaigning against being evicted to make way for the 2012 Olympics, takes this metaphor to its logical conclusion. The councillors and officials are depicted as clowns with red noses who literally force community representatives to jump through hoops.

This satire on development is interwoven with a kitchen-sink drama involving Kirsty, one of the inhabitants of the long-standing trailer site, who longs to carve out a career as a flying trapeze artist. Flighty Kirsty, her family, her lovers and an optimistic Rastafarian ice-cream seller argue about the eviction. Most are resigned to the outcome but her father is set on staying put.

The flexible set employed in Whistling Gypsy’s production is ingenious, but scene changes are not slick, and if your sole reason for seeing this show is the trapeze, you will be sadly disappointed. Also, the balance between vaudeville councillors and emotional melodrama is not completely smooth, but on balance, there is enough of a mix of energetic performance and politics to create a well-rounded production.

Augustine’s, 510 0022, until 25 Aug, 7.35pm, £11 (£9).

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