Sunday, 24 June 2007

Cats Paw - Kings Head Theatre, Islington

Cat’s Paw by William Mastrosimone
The Kings Head Theatre, Islington: 11 June – 1 July
Directed by Noah Lee Margetts
Reviewed by John Roberts - Teacher

Cat’s Paw is set in Washington DC, within the disused warehouse and secret base of Eco Warrior group Earth Now. 5 weeks since they kidnapped local man David Darling (Kenneth Jay), Earth Now’s rebel leader Victor (Noah Lee Margetts) needs more attention for his campaign to stop people polluting the countries fresh water supply, so with the help of Cathy (Jessica Knight) a fellow member of Earth Now they kidnap one of Washington’s finest news reporters (Kosha Engler) to come and help their cause by interviewing them.

Cat’s Paw has been performed in America regularly since it was first written by Award winning writer William Mastrosimone in 1984 and reworked in 1996 and it is this version that gets its UK Premiere and is perfect for the intimate surroundings that the Kings Head provides bringing the audience right into the middle of the hostage situation; you can’t help feeling part of the ordeal from the very moment you step into the auditorium until the show reaches its climatic ending ninety minutes later. Cat’s Paw is a political play that at its core makes us look at the way we treat the earth and the people that are part of its design.

Noah Lee Margetts who also directs, plays Victor who demands the stage with his strong presence and demeanour, Kenneth Jay’s David Darling is played with a warmth that we as an audience instantly sympathise with but it’s the female cast who provide the real talent. Kosha Engler held the political fort together as TV Journalist Jessica, Engler’s performance was tight with a real thought of character, the pace of her lengthy dialogues were executed with near perfection. but it was Jessica Knight as Cathy who provided the show with a strong supporting role coming into her own in the last 15 minutes of the play with a performance that is, powerful, emotional and touching, in a nutshell Knight’s performance was simply stunning.

Cat’s Paw isn’t without its flaws though, at times the pace dragged, perhaps this is due to the director taking on the lead role as well and not having the objective outside eye that is perhaps needed with such a heavy political piece, and when the pace did pick up it was played at times so fast that lines started to slip and dialogue got mumbled.

New Line Maverick Stage Productions have produced a show that has real of the time relevance, it is thought provoking and has a strong message to each and everyone one who watches, but perhaps a 12 noon timeslot on weekends/3pm slot on weekdays isn’t the platform that this show should be in or deserves.

Cats Paw continues at the Kings Head Theatre until 1st July for more inofrmation visit
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