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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke

REVIEW: CORONA DAZE @ THE HEN & CHICKENS THEATRE

🎭 Corona Daze  

📍 Hen & Chickens Theatre, 109 St Paul's Road, London, N1 2NA                 

🗓 Tuesday 23rd April 2024

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NOSTALGIC AND RELATABLE


CORONA DAZE takes a whimsical look back at the crazy time when our lives were turned upside down and we were thrown into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


As the pandemic takes hold, we meet our protagonist Nicky who is neurotic about cleanliness and sanitisation. The story begins pre lockdown and we see her middle class persona worry about things such as whether her Nanny will be able to stay or if she can close her business deals if restrictions were imposed.


The play takes place in various rooms of her home, mostly her study, and each scene involves her in conversation with her mother, either via zoom or the telephone. This is a creatively clever way for the story to be told without having to talk directly to the audience, which is often the case in a one person show.


We're reminded of things which now seem long distant memories such as homeschooling, the Houseparty app, keeping fit with Joe Wicks, clapping for the NHS, daily exercise and conspiracy theories.


The play is essentially a series of calls between mother and daughter at various stages of the pandemic, with each scene prefixed by voice recordings of politicians such as Boris Johnson which allows us to know precisely where we are in the timeframe. So simple, yet another wonderfully creative choice which keeps the audience fully focused and immersed in the story.



Light-hearted throughout, it gains in momentum as it goes along, and also gets a bit more serious as we see Nicky's bravado break as she gradually becomes more casual and dishevelled (as we all did!) and begins to struggle with her mental health as she loses her job and worries about how the bills will be paid.


The character arc here is superb and by the end of the play she is a completely different person as she embraces the important things in life, such as spending time with her children and husband, and learns the value of 'me time'.


Alice Bragg is brilliant as Nicky and is completely believable throughout, effortlessly taking the audience along on the journey. In terms of storytelling the show does keep everything rather surface level and it would be nice to have delved deeper in various elements of the plot, and to learn more about her relationship with the other characters we hear, such as her husband.


That being said, the story is relatable and there is a sincerity and charm about it which makes it an easy watch and I would definitely recommend it.


I'm always interested in the technical elements of theatre and the lighting, sound design were on point throughout as was the direction by Benji Sperring which made the whole piece feel natural and welcoming.


CORONA DAZE will be back at The Hen & Chickens Theatre next month running 19th - 25th May and you can grab your tickets here.


Neill Kovacic-Clarke


All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest, fair and free from influence. Theatre is subjective and it is important to remember that all views expressed are just those of one reviewer.


My ticket for this performance of Corona Daze was gifted by the Alice Bragg who invited me to watch the show in exchange for my honest review. The fact that my ticket was gifted played no part in the content of my review or the star rating given.



Find out more about the play at https://www.coronadaze.com/

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