A Kind Of People presented by Royal Court Theatre
What is it?
A Kind of People is a contemporary play set amongst a modern English community written by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti.
What is it about?
We are introduced to a group of friends having a good time on a Friday night. The fun quickly ends however, when one uninvited guest gets out of control and starts making offensive and racists comments. This is the catalyst of the show.
Gary and Nicky have been together since they were 16. A marriage, three kids, and council house later the two seem like the ideal couple...that is until Gary fails to get a promotion at work, which he deems is due to the colour of his skin.
Their friends, Mo and Anjum, live on the same estate and know what it means to work hard and strive for the best.
Gary’s sister does not support him with his cause and believes the best way to fight is to keep living life to the fullest.
Gary’s best friend Mark appears to be the reliable sidekick, until he makes some innaporpriate comments to Nicky.
We follow the friends as their relationships begin to fall apart as deep rooted racism, that they were sure did not live amongst them, comes out.
The play focuses on relationships and the struggle many face of how to move up in the world when everything seems to be working against you?
How did it make me feel?
This play is an insightful piece that presents a slice of British life that is not often seen on a stage. Not only that, it represents modern Britain in realistic manner.
At first glance, one might think it is a play that focuses on the downfall of one group and praises the other. However, as the play goes on, all the characters juggle their position at the top, in the audience’s eyes. We see the highs and lows of each character - their strengths and flaws. One minute we are rooting for Gary and several minutes later we are booing him. At the start, we think Vicky is great and at the end of the play we dislike her or may feel sorry for her.
The play forces reflection, to see who we are and who we want to be.
The cast is very strong. The chemistry between Richie Campbell (Gary) and Claire-Louise Cordwell (Nicky) is unparalleled. Both actors play their roles with extreme honesty and their performances are raw and heart wrenching.
Amy Morgan (Victoria) does a masterful job portraying the white female boss who does not see the error of her ways yet still tries to make sense of everything; facing adversity with her employees and battling her own issues as a female manager of staff.
Petra Letang (Karen) is hilarious and genuine as the much needed comic relief, as well as serving as the voice of reason for our central characters.
Asif Khan (Mo) and Manjinder Virk (Anjum) play their characters with conviction.
Thomas Coombes (Mark) does a great job in articulating the unrequited love a third wheel feels for his mate’s wife while bringing heart into the performance.
Where is it playing?
The set is phenomenal. Designed by Anna Fleischle, her set is intricate and innovate. The way it shifts to switch the scenes is flawless and subtle and a credit to the creatives at The Royal Court Theatre.
The cast is lead impeccably by director Michael Buffong who has cleverly showcases the creative work of the whole team as well as the beautiful staging, particularly in the ending with Gary and Nicky.
This is an incredible show and a must see for everyone before it closes!
A Kind Of People is playing at the Royal Court Theatre until the 18th January 2020.
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