Upstairs at the Bread & Roses Theatre we are thrown into Lucy’s quirky quest for something exciting. As the writer and actress, Berri George shows off a whole host of talents as we are confronted with Lucy’s progression to her first LARP (live action role-play) meeting.
Sky Blue Printers. The smell of polo mints and instant coffee. And Lucy, the weird, sprightly 29 year-old with her dungaree dress and yellow, spotted t-shirt. There is something appealing about Lucy as a character, charming in fact; her eagerness is enchanting despite her odd obsessions about how she brushes her teeth and whether the font is wrong and the paper too thin. Throughout the show we are propelled into the strange flashbacks of Lucy’s past that brings her to be the person she is today, why LARP appeals to her so much, and it’s George’s writing that grasps each moment perfectly, pulling us into Lucy’s characterful life.
It’s not just Lucy that George captures so well though. As we delve into the piece we are introduced to Lucy’s acquaintances, friends and family. From the McDonald’s customer to Lucy’s parents each character is brought to life through George’s skill.
Berri George’s talent extends well beyond her writing though. As a performer she effortlessly glides between characters, weaving each impression in and projecting exactly how we imagine the characters to be. The most impressive and amazing example of this was when we were introduced to Lucy’s online LARP friends where just one prop converted her into a new impression without any thought or hesitation.
For this one woman show George didn’t need added set. Two chairs and a table with a few added props, some of which I didn’t think were actually necessary, aided the story giving that extra bit of context or clarity into the character. However, no additional lighting was used in this performance and at moments I felt that this could have lifted the piece, enhancing the already comedic dialogue. At short moments towards the end of the piece, music was used but again, having this throughout the piece could have add to the whole idea of LARP as a real-life but virtual idea.
This piece really was charming and comical; I felt for Lucy as a character, I adored her eccentricity, I was excited by her boundless imagination and knew that LARP was her form of escape artistry, just like her mother. With a few minor changes this show really could be something special. And not only that, Berri George is something special; don’t let her pass you by.
LARP is playing Bread & Roses Theatre until 13th September as part of the Clapham Fringe. For more information and tickets, see the Clapham Fringe website.