MAR 3, 2023
Tink. Review. Tobacco Factory, Bristol
There’s a change between our heady days in Primary School when we confidently fly with ambition – to a fall when the hormonal confusion of Senior School crushes us. Social conventions, acne, peer pressure and bullying knock the confidence we once had.
Set in the round on a circular pink floor with a minimum of props but over hung with numerous light bulbs Kat Kleve as the eponymous fairy Tink lives in an alternative but similar world. She takes us on a flight from pre-school to adulthood in a giddy coming of age journey. Lizzy Connolly’s script is brought to life in a sugar rush and at time breathless high energy performance – with neat rhyming couplets and Kat’s exquisite facial expressions.
Tink starts big describing all the things she will do with her life – in short, she will conquer the world – the most successful fairy of all. That is until her friends poke fun at her, she’s called a nerd for liking maths and gets drunk at a party and her dishevelled photos appear on social media. Embarrassed, humiliated and dumped by her best friend Choe for Olivia at school Tink is in a spiral of depression. A universal story of how young girls and boys turn in on themselves in those formative teenage years. While society holds up impossible examples of footballers, pop stars and celebrities to emulate as ideals. The destructive and unrealistic contrasts of you and non-you, success or failure, and being in or out bring confusion and self-doubt.
Kat Kleve is phenomenal in the role of the fairy that fails and eventually succeeds in life’s difficult journey. Racing around the stage in a whirl of pre-school energy to the quiet contemplation of teenage angst her movement directed by Rosanna Bates was excellent. So much to cover, so many of life’s changes to symbolise in a master class of fluent choreography. Taking up her guitar to add beautiful songs to the narrative this was a virtuosa performance of the highest quality.
Special mention to Tink’s costume that transformed from tiny tot’s fairy outfit to mini skirted teen in a palette of flowing silks in greens and creams. With evocative and creative lighting by Rachael Duthie that aided the mood swings in the hour-long drama this is a one woman show that is fabulous, funny and true to life. Set in the harsh light of social media where nothing is secret this is a production that needs a wider audience – one that includes teenagers who can identify with Tink and learn from her fairy flight.
Originally performed in the Tobacco Factory Theatres’ prototype Festival for New Writing in 2022 Tink was written by Lizzy Connolly and performed with original music by Kat Kleve. For tickets and more details visit https://tobaccofactorytheatres.com/shows/tink/
The Tobacco Factories Theatres’ Co-Production runs to Saturday, March 4, 2023.
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