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Soho Theatre, London

Blueberry Toast
5.0Reviewer's Rating

Blueberry Toast is an absolutely brilliant play. It is a comical parody of the American dream and the perfect family that is supposed to come with it. The play begins with Walt (Gareth David-Lloyd) and Barb (Gala Gordon) preparing breakfast in a shiny, sit-com style kitchen. Walt reads the newspaper while his wife makes his favorite blueberry pancakes to the ticking of the toaster. He seems to be interested in everything going on around him, except for his wife, who tries again and again to make stale conversation. Their plastic smiles and syrupy ‘Good morning dear!’ is nothing more than a veneer for something much darker, a dysfunction that will destroy the heart of this seemingly perfect, blissful family.

Gordon portrays the frustration of a neglected house-wife, hitting every emotion from sadness, regret to anger and passion. She carefully balances desperation for her husband’s approval with a deep seated resentment against his treatment of her. Gordon’s outbursts of rage are always very controlled in an elegant, lady like way; she insists on dampening the corner of a towel, causing Walt to react in even more fury. The towel is simply a metaphor of how incompatible the characters are, intellectually and emotionally; their dialogue riddled with insecurity and confusion proves it.

David-Lloyd is equally brilliant in his portrayal of an aloof, distant husband who is more interested in finding oil in Iraq than pleasing his wife and family. His American accent is absolutely flawless, and his mannerisms are American in every single way. He lambasts his wife for being stupid and inferior, claiming that everyone mocks her behind their back. His emotional abuse manifests in a physical attack when Barb stabs him to death while laughing in a rage, hysterically. The once-perfect set becomes a bloody murder scene, the once-perfect wife has even a part of her scalp missing.

There won’t be a single moment when you aren’t gripped to your seat or bent over stitches at this totally absurd, highly entertaining play.

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