Smack That at The New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

I did not read up about this in advance, having had it recommended by their publisher, Oberon.  No payment was made up front so when I arrived I was given an envelope to put in an amount of my choice at the end of the show.  Rhiannon Faith, the director and writer of this show skilfully introduced the theme of domestic violence in a friendly and safe-feeling environment.  Everything kicked off before I’d even sat down as cider and popcorn and sweets were handed over by the actors, and badges allocated to all of us, in various forms of ‘Bev’s – I was “Fabulous Bev”, and my friend was “Sensible Bev; the bloke next to him was “Folk Bev”!  We were at a party, then we were playing pass the parcel, then we heard domestic violence statistics, then back to party games.  The actors were also excellent dancers, and much of the movement was gut wrenching as well as shocking at times.  All of the actors themselves had experienced domestic violence so knowing this at the beginning of the show did seem to make the over all feeling of the evening more poignant and immediate.  The evening ended with us all joining in their disco, chatting and laughing with them – a great scene of survival and positive futures, at least for these women I hope.

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