Edinburgh Fringe 2010
After her boyfriend gets into the fight on the street, Katie finds herself on a journey she’ll never forget. This is a play which examines the complexities of multicultural inner city living as well as the confusion and excitement of growing up.
The start of Bunny is a little awkward and didn’t quite set the right tone. As the audience are getting settled, there is a young girl on stage, looking uncomfortable – who could be mistaken for an usher waiting to make an announcement – but for the absence of an Underbelly t-shirt. This is a strange start, as the rest of the show is delivered largely as a monologue, without reference to the audience. In this, the piece appears to not quite know what it is trying to be – reflective monologue or conversation with the audience.
Aside from this however, the show was engaging and well acted. The story was not extraordinarily dramatic in itself, but what it betrayed about the difficulties of becoming a woman, and the inner conflict this entails was gripping and pertinent. The piece also dealt with issues of race and commented (through the eyes of a young white girl) on the segregation of communities within one town (in this instance Luton) even down to there being two high streets – one for the Asians and one for the whites and blacks.
The set was excellent – behind the actress was an animated line drawing of the urban landscape, which constantly moved and changed as she described the journey home from school and the events which then unfolded. The animation provided just the right balance of visual stimulation without being intrusive – never depicting people, but just painting a picture of the slightly grim reality of downtrodden Luton.
Bunny managed very well to convey the turmoil within a young woman on the cusp of adulthood – between studying, being clever and going to university or having an older boyfriend, exploring her sexuality and courting danger. Played by Rosie Wyatt – she was a sympathetic character, with many flaws, but very human – and I am sure there were several elements of her personality which audience members would have identified with. Wyatt managed to capture the casual speech patterns of a teenager, and the breathless excitement as she told the story. However, this ‘breathless excitement’ pervaded the whole show, which meant that the piece was rather on one level. However, so early in the run, this could be put down to nerves, and I am sure the show will settle down into a more relaxing pace.
This is certainly a play worth seeing – it tackles many difficult issues in an entertaining way, without resorting to cliche.