Review Round Up: Sunnymead Court, Tristan Bates Theatre

We round up the reviews for Gemma Lawrence’s play, running at the Tristan Bates theatre for a limited time.

(c) Lidia Crisafulli

The Guardian: *** “Lawrence plays Marie’s agonised shyness with a compassionate wit while Milner infuses Stella with a cheeky charm, a fabulous singing voice and occasional vulnerability. The humour and romance of this story fizzes on stage and dissolves soon after, but it is enough to remind us of the joys of love – and of live theatre.”

The Arts Desk: **** “Lawrence deals lightly and well with the alienating aspect of lockdown, which is particularly intense for women. Marie thinks her ideal life would be as a brain floating in a vat of green goo; Stella shows her that having a body isn’t all bad. Sure, it’s a little clichéd, but lesbian meet-cutes get a free pass.”

(c) Lidia Crisafulli

WhatsOnStage: **** “James Hillier’s production is full of fun tidbits of theatrical innovation – having the two performers operate a sound and lighting desk on stage (designed by Max Pappenheim and Will Monks), while Gemma Lawrence’s Marie (both performances, by the way, are top-notch) blogs to a camera fixed to a corner.”

The Stage: **** “Over the coming years, there are likely to be many plays written about the 2020 lockdown. Let’s hope that they possess the same lightness of touch and sense of hope that Sunnymead Court provides.”

Broadway World:*** “Lawrence’s writing feels real as her “little weirdo” Marie starts to engage back with the world behind her computer screen. In her routines – boiled egg in the morning, coffee at night – she builds a wall of security but when she is forced to break through it to assist in a crisis, there should be a turning point.”

London Theatre1: *** “It is still relatively rare to have stories on stage about two women attracted to one another. That this production tells its story as convincingly as it does is to be commended.”

Sunnymead Court continues to play at the Tristan Bates Theatre and live streamed until the 3rd October.

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