Skin a Cat at the Bunker
Following a sell-out run at the Vaults theatre in Waterloo, Isley Lynn’s Skin a Cat moves to the Bunker, a new off west-end theatre made from a remodelled underground parking garage in London Bridge. A surprisingly big space, it is open and impressive. The three sets of seating that surround the stage are quickly different, whilst the stage itself is simple with a concrete floor and backdrop and just a bed poinantly taking centre stage.
Isley Lynn manages what so many fail to do, creating something that is honest and relatable without becoming cliched in her depiction of female sexual experiences. Skin a Cat is hilarious, the humour quick and biting as we move through the protagonist’s life one sexual mishap at a time. Alana, played by Lydia Larson, is the self aware narrator of her own tale, slipping seamlessly from interaction with other characters to addressing the audience directly. This style creates a real feeling of confidentiality, of feeling Alana’s excitement and embarrassment as though it’s our own (and definitely invoking memories of devastatingly similar emotions from our teenage years).
The play is semi-autobiographical, which shines through in the rawer moments in particular. Lynn has said that this is a piece she wished she had seen at 16, and it is clear why. The audience laugh along and there is a palpable feeling of release and comradery that fills the room. Larson is backed up by just two other actors, Jessica Clark and Jassa Ahluwalia, who take on the roles of all the women and all the men in the main character’s life (as well as providing fantastic mobile phone sound effects). The minute cast ensures that, whilst her friends Sally and Jonny undoubtedly lovingly bring humour to the show, this is Alana’s story, a triumph of her own body and mind that is wholly uplifting.
Photo: David Monteith-Hodge
Skin a Cat is at the Bunker from 12th October until 5th November, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for Skin a Cat here: