Slice of Eel Pie introduces us straight away to the main two protagonists of the story. As the two boys who are now all grown up are left putting together the missing pieces of their lives in a quest to find out who their real fathers were as their deceased Mother claimed not to have known. Their chosen method of detecting is somewhat unconventional though.
Pony( Malcolm Jeffries) wears his Mother’s dresses throughout the play and although it should appear to be out of the “norm” once you become familiar with the characters it becomes part of him and he wears them very well. Meatball (Neil Cole) is characterized as the stereotypical “skinhead thug” and fits his role perfectly or so it seems! However, as the story develops looks can be very deceptive.
Their Mum, Samantha played by Rafaela Elliston is a fantastic stereotypical hippy. Drugs, free love and music from that generation play a major role in her life. The aspiring Fine Arts Student loses her way as she becomes beguiled by Noel (Anil Desai) and enters Eel Pie Island the notorious jazz and rock hotspot in the 1960s.
The artwork, clothes and props are all in keeping as the script switches between early 2000 and the 1960s smoothly. A difficult achievement to have created convincingly in such a small space.
Free love is not a reality when Mint Julip finds herself left on two separate occasions holding the baby from two separate men from the Island. Somebody needs to pay for them as they are brought up! Neither of the Fathers wants to take responsibility they just want to be free!
Elliston’s performance was outstanding from the moment she quoted her art knowledge in detail to the scene when she enters the stage high and smoking a fake joint she actually appears to be under the influence of drugs, it looked one hundred per cent genuine.
The storyline is intertwined and very detailed. The way in which Albiston has directed the play the audience doesn’t struggle to follow any of the themes that are taking place during the different eras. Certainly, a piece that has been written to be seen in the intimate setting of a Pub Theatre and well worth catching if it returns to the stage after it finishes at Camden Fringe.
Four and a Half Stars.
Mint Julip-Rafaela Elliston
Detective Gold-Danni King
Detective Harris-Hraban Luyat
Sir Jasper-Marc McCardie
Written/Directed and Produced by Lesley Ann Albiston.
Lighting and Sound technician Peter Donaghy
Stage Manager Lesley Clay.
Playing from 22nd-25th August
Hen and Chickens
109 St Paul’s Road