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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Luck


🎭 Relativity (Rehearsed Reading)

📍 Upstairs at the Gatehouse, 1 North Road, Highgate Village, London, N6 4BD

🗓 Sunday 25th February



I recently headed to Upstairs at the Gatehouse, a little theatre above a cosy pub in Highgate, in North West London. I watched the rehearsed reading of Relativity, written by Joe Venebale and Jamie Rycroft, and was thoroughly entertained!

The play begins by introducing Fabian Garve MP from the Ministry of Appropriate Discipline (MAD). We quickly learn that this is a world where people with knowledge of the various scientific rules can easily break them, causing chaos and many an unnatural turn of events. Zadie works with Ted, a defence lawyer you definitely wouldn’t want on your side, to police these incidents, prosecute the culprits and ensure they get a harsh punishment for their behaviour. But things get a little more complicated when she finds out her sister, Oriana, is next on the list. Oriana’s been caught researching the ‘Theory of Everything’, and is pretty close to cracking the all-important equation.

The play follows Zadie as she teams up with magician Ocean and dentist Griffin to free her sister from prison, going against what’s right in the eyes of the law and putting family above everything.

For me, the casting for the play was spot on. Every actor brought their character to life so beautifully – so much so that for the most part, I was able to completely ignore the fact that they were reading from scripts. The way the characters bounced off one another was impressive and is also a testament to the witty script.

It was clear to me that a lot of thought had been put into the different language used by each of the characters to help add to their uniqueness. The script wasn’t just a means to further the plot. For example, it gave Fabian comedic sayings that reminded me of old-fashioned detective literature. This, along with his posture and line delivery, made him a likeable villain and in turn, more complex.

At the beginning of the play, one of the writers informed the audience that he would be reading the stage directions from the sidelines. I thought that these directions would be pretty simple and just an additional tool to help us set the scene. But they ended up being hilarious and added an extra layer to the performance. I found myself laughing out loud multiple times!

I felt the play was well-paced, with frequent scene changes and plot progression. Instead of being confusing, as it could well have been with the inclusion of both science and magic, it only helped add to the engaging storyline, drawing me deeper into the events that were unfolding.

The thing that held me back from giving five stars was the fact that some parts left me asking questions. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not naturally very sciency, but there were parts at the end that left me a bit confused. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I feel like a little extra context about why everyone was impacted by the discovery of the ‘Theory of Everything’ and what happened after this would have been helpful. Although I do see how getting too bogged down in explanation could be off-putting!

All in all, I’d recommend this play to anyone looking for a few hours of fun escapism and can’t wait to see the final version. It gets you thinking, and you’re guaranteed a laugh. What more could you want from a trip to the theatre, really?

Estelle Luck

All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest and free from influence.

My ticket for this performance of Relativity was gifted by Jamie Rycroft 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 star rating given or the content of my review.


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