Jam Tart/Lemon Kurd at Bread and Roses (Clapham Fringe)

Running as part of the 2021 Clapham Fringe festival Jam Tart/Lemon Kurd is made up of two 30-minute monologues told from the perspective of two different women.

Jam Tart written by Rhiannon Owens, stars Katy Maw as Claire, a 54 year old wife and mother who has the sudden realisation that she has lived a life focused on appeasing and pleasing others. Recognising that she doesn’t know where she starts and the needs of others end, she takes drastic action. Maw is an engaging storyteller, sharing Claire’s story with a sympathetic wryness that is fitting for this tale of self-empowerment and reconnecting with oneself. There is an optimism to the piece, as Claire’s journey is still very much on-going, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lemon Kurd by Nick Maynard, stars Mary Tillett as Cathy, a 70-something widow exploring life as an independent woman. There is a wonderful recurring avian theme to this piece that is particularly fitting and beautiful. Tillett brings a gorgeous warmth and energy to Cathy, an intrepid woman with a curiosity and zest for life. She feels like a fully realised character, as thanks to her tendency to go off on tangents, we get wonderful glimpses and insights into her life history. It feels totally believable that as a tourist in Calais she would go and explore The Jungle refugee camp and befriend a Kurdish refugee (yes the title isn’t a case of bad spelling). Cathy’s voice provides a refreshing alternative to all the anti-refugee rhetoric that swirls around us, but it is done in a down-to-earth way that never feels like sermonising.

Natalie Winter’s direction of both pieces keeps the focus where it should be, on the two women and their stories. There is an intimacy inherent in the direct to audience delivery that works well. She brings out confident and authentic performances from both Maw and Tillett, that breath life into the characters of Claire and Cathy.

Jam Tart/Lemon Kurd is running at the Bread and Roses for two performances only on 24th & 25th September at 5pm, which by my count leaves you with one more chance to see it. To book tickets or find out more about this show and the broader Clapham Fringe Festival go here: https://www.claphamfringe.com/jam-tartlemon-kurd.html

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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