I went to Bush Theatre to see the new production of Pink Lemonade.
Pink Lemonade is in the smaller Studio venue.
There is a single set of pink carpet and a 3 items of furniture that are the minimal props for scenes in a club, a pub, and at home in a flat. The platform at the back with the microphone is for the longer poetic sections, during which strip lighting on the back wall is used along with variation in the ambient lighting. There is a sound system at the side for a varied soundtrack of music for different moods and venues.
The show is a solo performance by Mika, the author of the text. The play script states in an introductory Note that
Throughout the play, show, performance I refer to myself, the character, Mika as (I) this doesn’t always mean literal, some things in this story are based on my actual life, some are a combination of fading memories and things I made up.
Mika tells a story of transition and the milestones along the way, recognising themselves and also recognising how they are defined and placed in the world according to the expectations and prejudices of observers and hopeful lovers. Self-realisation and self-formation are at the end of still-progressing journey, discovering and resisting categories and relationships, in which the self-defined “allies” are usually condescending or intransigent.
There are also the looming, leery bigots to be found in the pub where the other part of White Britain relaxes and speaks its mind about outsiders.
But this show is itself being presented to an audience spectating a performance to be classed into a category, and this is met in a final monologue the breaks out of the story of personal hunger to question the assumptions in which this format is being received.
This show is very good at telling a story about heartbreak, anger and growth, and it has joy and humour. The picture at the start of this post is one of the quotations on the walls of the Bush Theatre.