Cuckoo, Soho Theatre


By Amy Toledano

Cuckoo by Lisa Carroll has all the elements of a wonderful coming-of-age story. Set in a small Irish town, this play packs many a punch, giving us a raw look at what it means to not fit in, to feel lonely in your hometown and how as a teenager, the need to be liked can seem more important than anything else.

Iona and Pingu are the two misfits this story follows. With Iona’s abrasive nature and Pingu’s decision to remain silent rather than explain themselves to the people around them, these two protagonist’s make quite a pair. After a run-in with the local bully, Iona and Pingu decide to book a one-way flight to London. In a world of Instagram and snapchat, it is not long until the whole town has heard about their soon-to-be adventures and decide to give them a farewell they certainly will not forget.

Caitriona Ennis is a firecracker with endless energy as Iona that has the audience on side with her even when she is at her worst. Elise Heaven as Pingu is the perfect compliment to the erratic behaviour of Iona, with their portrayal of a young person who is not afraid to totally be themselves shining throughout the piece.

The rest of the cast are also brilliant, and extremely detailed in their portrayal of a community of young people where image is everything and the world of social media is taken as law.

This small space is significantly effective in creating the stifling nature of this town and the set uses simple and powerful props to build this tiny village.

Cuckoo is a tender exploration of the effects of growing up in a world of constant pressure and fear of saying or doing the wrong thing and will leave audiences uncomfortable, nostalgic and heartbroken all at once.

Cuckoo runs through 8 December.

The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s