THEATRE REVIEW: A Kind of People ★★★★
A Kind of People
The Royal Court, London
Tuesday 5th December - Saturday 18th January 2020
There were a couple of moments during Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's 'A Kind Of People' where I had to keep reminding myself that his latest production was simply that, a piece of theatre for the purpose to entertain, as certain character developments pushed so far past the boundaries that even the audience were aghast with horror and digest, mainly aimed at Victoria (Amy Morgan) the boss of Gary (Richie Campell) and Best Friend Mark (Thomas Coombes) as she made racial remarks towards the former.
Simply put, Bhatti's production fundamentally puts you centre of a debate of how good a person really is, whilst testing your judgement on humanity; with not one performer falling along the wayside, each character is driven by their own future, whether that's doing whatever it takes to get their child to the best school, or simply getting to the bottom of why a promotion was denied to arguably the best candidate for the job. With Claire-Louise Cordell portraying wife Nicky to husband Gary, her determination to confront Victoria, a women she only met days previous at a house party, is the pinnacle of Bhatti's script when the two clash within the work office, and tension could be cut with a knife.
This isn't to say though that director Michael Buffong has pushed aside the hilarity for the seriousness subject of race; there's a whole heap of nervous laughter from Mark's hidden agenda, or Karen's (Petra Letang) sarcastic comments to brother Gary as he sets up 'Splat the Rat' for a future event; it's a much needed light relief from the underlying thermostat bubbling under the surface. Asif Khan and Manjinder Virk complete the cast as Mo and Anjum, again providing humour, but more distant to the the overall arc, and characters which could easily be bumped off to give more focus to Victoria, where Morgan gives a distasteful performance in the greatest and devious way possible in a role which will make you question your own beliefs.
Overall, A Kind Of People is cutting edge theatre that will leave you on true reflection of how we treat our peers, especially those with a difference of opinion, and in our most vulnerable times, how we react to individuals judgements and actions.