Saturday 11th June 2022 at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London.
Reviewer: Maygan Forbes
Brilliant brilliant brilliant! Now I am a sucker for a show about women facing a quarter life crisis of some sort, and as somebody who describes herself as having an “extended quarter life crisis”, the feeling sticks.
Described as “an unlikely friendship in the age of Instagram, veganism, and eagerly waiting ‘Friyay’”, Sixty-Seven encapsulates that ‘Friyay’ feeling perfectly. The show opens up with “the Friday feeling” that infects all 9-5 office workers when the clock strikes that magic spot every week, with The Cure’s ‘Friday, I’m in Love’. It’s the perfect opening to a play about the mundane 9-5 desk work and it’s by far my favourite song for the last day of the working week! The Cure’s wondrously brilliant goth-post-punk-pop song ‘Friday, I’m In Love’ sets the tone for the rest of the play and shares that little bit of that Friday feeling with the audience because, Lord knows we need it. The play revolves around the desk life of work besties Beth (played by Olivia Roebuck) and Jules (played by Alex Brailsford) as they battle with the everlasting quarter life crisis and trying to make their life count for something.
The acting is incredible and is definitely, in part, attributed to the wonderful writing from Isabelle Stokes. The play definitely has a TV sitcom vibe, it’s almost like you’re waiting for the canned laughter to be inserted at any given point. But there’s no need for canned laughter because the script is HILARIOUS and the room was filled with genuine laughs. The comedic timing was perfect and hit all the marks. In the diegesis of the play, you have the seemingly nonchalant class clown – Beth, a gemini to her core! Jules is simultaneously both miserable and socially conscious about the state of our ailing planet. There is Linda and Chantelle (voiced by both Roebuck and Brailsford), the office gossips/poisonous dinner ladies – we all have known a Linda and Chantelle in our lives!
What the play achieves is an element of relatability that leaves you feeling somewhat understood in the chaos of day to day banality. The age old proverb is that the 20s are the best years of your life, but as Sixty-Seven so boldly outlines – what’s so great about it? If you’re not constantly worrying about the planet and trying to remain sustainable, there is a pattern of mental health concerns that have increased in individuals aged 25 and above, and the brain drain of social media is never ending. If you look too close, the holes appear larger than ever but there is an unsung beauty amidst all of that. It’s one that can’t really be explained in words but the shared friendship on stage and the camaraderie between the two unlikely pals is what contributes to the value of the roaring 20s.
The characters are so well developed and both Jules and Beth’s storyline took the audience on a dramatic rollercoaster, with funny highs and lows dotted in between. The play was directed by the Tiny Theatre Co, comprised of the dynamic duo themselves Brailsford and Roebuck. Jessica Parritt was responsible for the sound/lighting on stage and they did a fantastic job of bringing to life the script. The music choices fit the play so well and further created the essence of a TV sitcom. If you’re a fan of Friends, Lena Dunham’s Girls TV series or The Office – you’ll definitely enjoy this humour. After seeing this play, my mood was instantly lifted – Sixty-Seven has a feel good factor that is contagious. I really hope this play comes back to our stages soon, I will definitely be jumping to purchase a ticket and highly recommend all readers do the same!
Sixty-Seven has completed its run at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, but you can check out other listings at the theatre here.