DIGITAL THEATRE REVIEW: What a Carve Up! ★★★★★
What A Carve Up!
Online Production Film
Saturday 31st October - Sunday 29th November 2020
In the strange times that we have somehow found ourselves in within the last seven months, one thing that has got many of us through is binging our favourite shows; wether you enjoyed the National Theatre Live Thursday Screenings, or got sucked into the world of Joe Exotic and the Tiger King madness, in a strange way it brought us all together. What A Carve Up!, a co-production between The Barn Theatre (Cirencester), Lawrence Batley Theatre (Huddersfield), and New Wolsey Theatre (Ipswich), have all somehow achieved what could easily fight off these former creative outlets, with a stellar cast and intriguing storyline, that will challenge and excite your emotions, and could have people talking about for a very long time to come.
The haunting tale, and one that immediately grabs your attention, of a family full of mischievous lies and backstabbing relatives, immediately throws you into this juggernaut of a mystery, as we have to pick up the pieces, here the alibis, and delve further to discover the truth behind a horrific crime. Recorded for film, every single member of the cast embody their personas, originally created by award-winning author Jonathan Coe (and adapted here by Henry Filloux-Bennett), to the ninth degree of realism, with Alfred Enoch and Fiona Button off the bat creating this atmosphere that we are tightly and tentatively concealed in for the whole 75 minute duration.
Directed by Tamara Harvey (Honey, I'm Home), the overriding sense of this cult family being shrouded in corruption, radiates through the screen in palpable measure; there are moments of somberness that give you a little time for yourself to make your own judgements and suspicions, before suddenly you're catapulted rather forcefully back into the sheer velocity of energy that cast, further supported by the likes of Stephen Fry, Rebecca Front, Tamzim Outhwaite, and Sharon D. Clarke, take you on through this strained voyage. Harry Smith should also be commended here for his sound design that without, the whole experience would not be given that extra layer that tightly wovens every together against Holly Pigott's set design, that wows, and makes you want to pause the experience, just to shower yourself in the realism of every location.
Overall, What a Carve Up! is a palpable, intrinsically fascinating digital experience that places you in the heart of a mystery and family that constantly makes you judge every motive and questionable look from the whole ensemble, with so much enjoyment, that could easily be positioned between any Netflix or Prime documentary, and stand the test of time.