These are just some of the questions explored in Alkaline, a new play about friendships, relationships and faith. It centres around best friends for over a decade Sophie and Sarah. Sophie likes being in control and is trying to plan the perfect wedding to her fiancé Nick. Sophie and Sarah’s relationship has been distant lately due to Sarah’s conversion to Islam. They decide to have a get together one summers’ evening with their partners and this is when Sarah announces she is engaged to Ali. As the night wears on new and old arguments surface amongst friends and within and between couples. Will their friendships and relationships survive the night?
Playwright Stephanie Martins has created a relatable, funny and poignant reminder about how we change as we grow. Multi-award winner Sarah Meadows has contributed to these feelings using space, movement and everyday props. The 75 minute production (with no interval) is set all in Sophie and Nick’s living room, garden and staircase. The audience seats are as if we are flies on the wall in the living room.
Laughs from audience were heard within the first few minutes and continued throughout. The awkwardness and stiltedness of the conversations and movement of the friends as they try to re-connect and the minimising of issues in our life to friends is something we can all relate to. Alkaline reminds us all that sometimes there are painful endings and new beginnings, and that sometimes we need to take a look at ourselves and make a change in our lives.
Claire Cartwright plays the self-assured Sarah, Ej Martin the up-tight White middle-class Sophie, Alan Mohan the go-with-flow Nick and Notin Kundra as the conflicted Ali. Reena Lalbihari has a small role as an unexpected visitor that will throw a spanner in the works for one of the couples.
Alkaline is performed by Pluck productions in association with Park Theatre, where the world premiere occurred this week. Pluck Productions’ 2017 performance of Birthday Suit played to critical acclaim and was nominated for three Off West End Awards including Best New Play.
Alkaline is performing until 4th August 2018. Evening performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 19:45 and matinees are on Thursdays and Sundays at 15:15. Tickets are £18 for standard adult, £16.50 for concession, £10 for young patrons and £13 for those under 16 years of age. There is an audio described performance on Thursday 2nd August at 19:45 with a touch tour at 18:00.
Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Phone: 020 7870 6876
Twitter: @ParkTheatre and @plucktheatre
Or search #AlkalinePlay
Written by Caitlin Neal
photos by Matthew Foster.