The Frida Kahlo of Penge West
- Lorna Irvine
- 7 August 2015
This article is from 2015.
Monobrows and monologues
From writer and director Chris Larner, Fringe First winner for An Instinct For Kindness, comes a satire on art, theatre and friendship
Olivia Scott-Taylor plays timid, virginal Zoe, a sharp contrast to Ruth (Cecily Nash) whom she befriends when she is kicked out by her actor boyfriend. Ruth is a horror, a praying mantis in polyester, who makes Katie Hopkins look refined and Zoe, pushover that she is, lets her stay over at her humble abode in Penge West ('Penge – a cross between minge and pension,' Zoe sighs in one of her bittersweet monologues).
The results are a tad predictable: the two women stage an amateurish play about the life of Frida Kahlo, called My Womb is A Paintbrush, which has some genuinely hilarious and un-PC side swipes at Kahlo's iconography, Leon Trotsky and the po-faced art world, but the dialogue is often a little dated.
Nonetheless, the two women perform with brio, especially Scott-Taylor who brings wit and pathos to Zoe. With a nicely judged twist and sharp observations on the showbusiness establishment – and the hangers-on who want to break into it in spite of limited ability and egos the size of Mexico – this is a charming riff on the pitfalls of pretention from an unlikely but comic double act.
C nova, 0845 260 1234, until 31 Aug (not 19), 5.10pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£7.50–£9.50).