You are browsing our archive of past reviews. Shows often evolve and develop as time goes on, so the views expressed here may not be an accurate reflection of current productions.

Anyone who has rented apartments and lived in flatshares will instantly find something in common with Cate and Gia, a pair of 20-somethings living in London. It’s Christmas 2016 and neither has a lot of money or time to spare – typical of a generation trying to find stable housing while working zero-hours contracts. The show, written by Eliza Gearty, focuses on the stress of debt and the difficulty of living in big cities – as the two protagonists find themselves at the mercy of a pervert landlord who installs CCTV in their property.

Gearty’s script is well structured and tight; the dialogue feels natural, flowing continuously between the girls and their slightly eccentric friend Pen, and keeping the storyline moving fast. The humour is top notch – Gia’s line “It’s not even real snow… it’s British! It’s not even white!” certainly hit home with me. It also brings in a nice angle of immigrants trying to make a life for themselves in London.

The relationship between the two girls – their shared dreams, their squabbles, their leg-pulling, and their frustration with their landlord Racken (a play on Kraken?) is very realistic. The set is excellent, suited to the small space: the use of a clothes horse as a screen for the girls’ costume changes is especially well executed.

There were a couple of things that left a bit to be desired. Gia has a few scenes in which she’s tipsy and laughing, but the laughter came across as fake and rather shrill. Movement on and off the stage wasn’t smooth and I could clearly see actors backstage. And finally, I’m sure this was a one-off, but I really wished the tech crew wouldn’t keep whispering to each other.

Even so, this is a well-made and well-played show about the truth of terrible landlords. Although I can’t tell you how the Racken storyline culminates, I can promise you will not be disappointed. Watch it with your flatmate, or your best friend!