By Indigo Lilburn-Quick, BA History and Politics
As I entered the Oxford Arms, a charming and quintessentially English pub in the heart of Camden, I had little clue what to expect. Walking through the buzzing crowd of other students, I picked up my tickets to The Kate Moss Experience at Etcetera Theatre, the newest play from Janet Productions. I walked up the winding stairway and found the intimate theatre, which seated only a couple of dozen audience members. Nervous anticipation filled the air. It was clear that the audience was unsure what to expect. Then, with a bang, two figures appeared on stage. Played by Finn Burge and Hugh Pearson, the dynamic duo would act as our tour guides through the wonderful world of Kate Moss. Dressed in matching baby blue velour suits and bow ties, they had the aura of seventies chat show hosts who would eventually be embroiled in some sleazy sex scandal. The two bounced off each other with lightning speed. Quips and gags landed effortlessly and they never missed a beat. This chemistry set us up for what would be a fast-paced, hilarious and intense 40 minutes.
“A poignant look at the effects of fame being thrust upon someone at such a young age.”
As the title implies, the play is an in-depth biography of the certified icon and phenomenon that is Kate Moss. It details the bumpy journey from when she was “forged by angels and hatched from an egg on the wastelands of Croydon” to her days of superstardom when she was hailed the face of a generation. It is also a poignant look at the effects of fame being thrust upon someone at such a young age; the implications of messy relationships that are played out detail by detail by the mass media; and the intensity of unrequited adoration. Equal parts bizarre, sinister and intoxicating, the plot twists and turns as much as Moss’ real life has. Throughout this engaging chronicle, there is palpable sexual tension between the two leads. The fascinating, yet largely unspoken, subplot drives the play forward and leaves the audience on the edge of their seat (and internally screaming, ‘when are they going to kiss?’). The acting, writing, and directing talents of Burge and Pearson were executed brilliantly. In fact, the entire show was an original and creative delight. The whole team should be proud. Janet Productions is certainly one to watch and I expect to be hearing much more about them in the future.