Review: Obscenities (Theatrical Niche, online)

A new venture from the Theatrical Niche theatre company leads them into the digital space with a mini-series called Obscenities.

Written by Venetia Twigg and Will Nash, these three shorts have very different styles and stories, all with a satisfying twist.

In Break Bitches, we are in the land of the work lottery syndicate, with three colleagues taking turns to buy the ticket. When a big win is on the cards, there is only going to be trouble ahead. Sheri Sadd, Venetia Twigg, and Melissa Saint appear in this tale of fractured friendship and strained sisterhood.

Dodo is about the fantastical and the mundane, the twists and turns of nature and the power-play in relationships. When mermaids are spotted in Cornwall and a dodo walks in South London, we are in strange territory. Olivia Bernstone and Andrew Troy are the pair irritating each other in this.

My favourite of the three is Symphony, when a female maestro exercises her professional and personal power to sow seeds of discord in her top violinists, who plot in a bar against her. Natalie Hones, Raychel Addo, and Marianne Benedict are the trio in a quirky tale of revenge.

Screencaps from Obscenities

Film-maker Nash has set and paced these stories in familiar settings to bring them to life. We all have colleagues who are selfish, emotional or scheming. Our home lives rely on banter. Everyone has had a boss who needs taking down a peg.

Obscenities isn’t perfect: I found Dodo a little hard to grasp, and Break Bitches has a moment or two more like a comic sketch than drama. But in moving into the film space, Twigg’s company has stretched itself into a new direction it will be interesting to see explored in the future.

You can catch Obscenities as it resumes its virtual tour on the 22 April – details here. It runs thirty minutes and is very well-presented, bringing some “what would you do” issues into the plays.

LouReviews received complimentary access to review Obscenities.

Check out my review of Theatrical Niche’s Uncle Vanya here.