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REVIEW: BAR - The Hope Theatre (Camden Fringe)

Review written by Tyrone Baptiste - 6.8.23

Bar is a thought-provoking, hilarious and original piece of theatre written and performed by Valia Katsi, Inbal Port, Catty Tucker and Amy Zhang. Bar was originally made for their final MA Acting performance as part of their studies at East 15 Acting School. This is their performance as part of their theatre company - Lemon Shed.

The show's premise is Ruby (Amy Zhang), Angel (Inbal Port), Cecilia (Valia Katsi) and Frankie (Catty Tucker) are having one final party in the bar they work at but the morning after, tensions start to rise and the question of what is right and wrong is raised.

Elea Johansen directs the show and it has been directed to be fresh and honest. The direction of the show helps to take the audience on a journey of self-exploration. It makes us question the times when we should've stood up for what is right.

Valia Katsi, Inbal Port, Catty Tucker and Amy Zhang

Photo credit: AFCJ Photography

The writing of the show is stylish and engaging throughout the 60-minute show. It will have you laughing, crying and wanting to celebrate with the four characters but ultimately, the story will keep with you after the show as it makes you reflect on when times have been tough and you have relied on your friends' support or when you have been there for your friends. The show is a beautiful photograph of what friendship can truly mean to someone.

The show is accompanied by a live piano played by Catty Tucker and Amy Zhang. This helps to bring the narrative to its emotional heights and guides the story serving as a key character.

Valia Katsi, Inbal Port, Catty Tucker and Amy Zhang

The four cast members all work well together and it is this chemistry that solidifies the performance to be strong. Tucker, Port and Zhang also play the role of Oscar at various moments of the play. It is simply portrayed by a blazer being put on the actress but the characterisation from all three is phenomenal. The 3 actresses also multi role different characters from a caffeine loving American, the pregnant boss who owns the bar to a poetry slam obsessed person. This brings extra gravitas to the show. They all play their characters to be grounded and fresh which gets the play off the ground.

Valia Katsi plays Cecilia to be honest and in the final moments, you want to reach out to her. She sensitively portrays what her character goes through with care and dedication. The 4 performances of these incredible actresses are worth the ticket price alone. This is a show that has to be seen by everyone. It is educational for all. It's a testament to show how strong women are. It's a show that celebrates friendship.


I can't wait to see what Lemon Shed does next.

Bar is currently being performed at The Hope Theatre until 9th August as part of Camden Fringe.

For tickets for the rest of the run - BAR - Camden Fringe

To know more and to find out about any new shows by Lemon Shed, please follow them on Instagram - @lemon.shed • Instagram photos and videos

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