Zoo is a new play by Lily Bevan which explores the intimate relationship between humans and animals.
Bonnie, a zookeeper at Cherokee Valley Zoo in Miami, is busy preparing the animals for the fast-approaching Hurricane Jonas. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, her friend Carol at Chester Zoo, is contending with the machinations of the South Yorkshire Bat Group. Although they face wildly disparate challenges, they have to deal with the same gender politicking, family difficulties and misjudged flings with the otter expert Ian, who has just moved from Chester to Miami. Carol struggles to communicate with her reticent teenage son while Bonnie reflects on her tense relationship with her mother, but both find pleasure at their workplace. It seems animals respond to them more straightforwardly than their nearest and dearest.
Lily Bevan as Bonnie and Lorna Beckett as Carol deftly move between the light-hearted and more emotionally introspective sides to their roles. Bevan has skilfully created characters who abound with the idiosyncrasies of everyday people, managing to weave their stories together in monologues that movingly reveal their pasts and their present identities. She perfectly balances humour with a deeply affecting and fast-paced plot to create a wonderfully rounded piece that makes for an enjoyable and subtly thought-provoking hour.