Last week I went to the Camden People’s Theatre with my drama class to see the play ‘Tribute Acts’ by TheatreState. I went for inspiration for my A Level Drama performance based upon women and empowering femininity throughout history, also because to pass the module we have to visit some live Theatre. Not that I’m complaining obviously. The play stars Tess and Cheryl who reminisce about their perfect superhero socialist Dads and talk about their relationships with their fathers. However when they make a tribute act and interview each other’s father’s, years after they left their family, the father’s in the interview recordings don’t match up to the father’s they have described.
The play was original, to say the least. Very fringe like, in a tiny Theatre space with a maximum 30 people audience. It was raw and extremely cringey. The girls made brilliantly awful jokes throughout which added authenticity to the cheesy tribute act. They showed the amount of love that they had for their dads and that the moments that they considered to be fond childhood memories, their dad’s could barely remember. This created an odd mixture of sadness and humour, which was actually the general feeling that we had throughout the play. Although I would be lying to say that I didn’t enjoy the play, or that I didn’t appreciate the messages that they were trying to convey, there were quite a few aspects that I didn’t enjoy at all.
Some of the jokes were more awkward than funny with a really funny joke told first, followed by a very dark comment. This almost made the play seem awkward and the audience weren’t sure how much to laugh, and which jokes to laugh at, or if to laugh at all. With so few people in a room with you, you became so aware of the people around you and how they reacted to certain things, which unfortunately meant that sometimes there was no reaction when there should have been. Also what bothered me the most was that the play didn’t seem to have any kind of plot or even structure at all. It felt as if the actresses had thrown a few scenes together and I saw it as more of a stand up routine than a play. It made you think, but I do think that sometimes there was too much for the audience to think about all in one go. Although the message was a powerful one, the play didn’t have to make everything a message.