Adult Supervision at the Park Theatre
Whether it is fortuitous that this thought provoking play coincides with the annual month dedicated to Black History or not, the timing could not be more perfect.
It is midnight on the eve of the 2008 US elections, and four loosely connected women have gathered in a room of minimalistic décor to cheer on the appointment of America’s first black president. The group takes the stage, each member bearing the weight of a different circumstance reflected throughout modern-day society.
Firstly, there is intimidating Natasha (Susannah Doyle), faultlessly representing the contemporary Madonna: having recently adopted two Ethiopian children, Natasha is striving to save the world one orphan at a time. Mo (Amy Robbins) is a force to be reckoned with: married to a black man with mixed-race children, she considers herself an “interloper,” looked down upon by others like a slave-driver. Angela (Jacqueline Boatswain) is the opposite of Mo: having married a white man, Angela constantly faces the accusing questions of her peers – “was a black man not good enough for you?” Harbouring secrets of her own, as well as an unborn child, Angela is suspicious of Natasha’s apparent goodwill. Lastly, there is Izzy (Olivia Poulet): dizzy, fizzy, easy to get in a tizzy, Izzy represents a quintessential white mum with one failed marriage under her belt, and an uphill struggle to fit in with the ever-changing multicultural diversity surrounding her.
With race as the leading topic of conversation between the four women, Adult Supervision daringly explores a very prominent and touchy subject. Steeped in adult confrontation, awkward exchanges and a brave honesty all too lacking in many big-budget stage productions, the play is unflinching toward its purpose. Under the intoxicating influence of Natasha’s “Obamatinis,” racial tensions surrounding the new “Beige Britain” are highlighted in a hilariously provocative performance.
The actors’ performances are all enthusiastic, each portraying her individual character with dedication and gusto. The single-stage layout provides the perfect setting for a potentially sensitive subject. Any more props and the stage may become cluttered and distracting; any more swearing from Mo (who has a larger than life personality with a penchant for drinking to match), and the script would run risk of becoming crude. However, neither is the case.
Adult Supervision comes highly recommended, and if there is one thing to do this month to celebrate Black History, this could well be it!
Photo: Mark Douet
Adult Supervision is at the Park Theatre until 3rd November 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Adult Supervision here: