THEATRE REVIEW: Feed The Beast ★★★
Feed The Beast
Birmingham REP Theatre
Monday 20th April 2015
Feed The Beast, commissioned by Birmingham REP Theatre, and written by Sherlock and Doctor Who writer Steven Thompson, is a political satire play that focuses on the prime minister’s role in power and how it affects those close surrounding, for example their family and close friends.
We are straight from the beginning introduced to Michael, who has just come into power, and his wife and daughter, Andrea and Ellie. It’s really nice to see this dynamic, but by the end you really wish that there were more scenes to this family, even though with the bigger picture they play a key part, because It is nice to see this different, humble side to Michael, who tries to be this dad that loves his family, whilst also trying to run the country on the other hand.
We are also introduced to Sally, the Press Secretary, played by Kacey Ainsworth. The chemistry that she has with Gerald as Michael is stable and naturalistic, which makes you really believe in the situations that these characters face, and when Scott, another Press Secretary comes in, his energy to the relationship of the other two characters are really strong on stage, and the rivalry that Sally has towards Scott is pure genius at certain parts in the play.
The transitions between scenes are sharp and precious, but the use of the local Birmingham Supernumeraries seems all too clustered on stage, especially in the party scene taking place at Downing Street, where the two main characters are speaking at the front of the stage, there is too much distraction from the ensemble behind, which is a really shame, and they are very much underused, and the production as a result could be done without them.
Overall, Feed The Beast is a snappy, slick satire play that runs right the way through and never stops for a breather; every scene is important and keeps your attention right throughout, so much that you lose the track of time when you become so engrossed by the action on stage.