Old Red Lion Theatre – until October 16 2021
Reviewed by Emily Cliff
When reviewing a piece of art, whether that be a book, an album or a play, one thing we are taught from the very offset is to never judge a book by its cover. Upon entering the tiny theatre Snowflakes is currently occupying there was absolutely no way you would have known or fathomed what was to come in the next two and a half hours. However, at the end of a shocking road full of twists and turns the theatre that seemed tiny and gloomy upon entrance, expanded into this small universe full of female empowerment, the consequences of the ever-growing modern day internet and some sarcastic humour thrown into the mix too.
The set of this show utilized the small space in a clever and subtle manner. Much like the Netflix show Criminal, Snowflakes is set in one room, with leads Marcus (portrayed by Robert Boulton) and his colleague Sarah (portrayed by Nimah Finlay) interrogating and torturing a well renowned writer Tony (portrayed by Henry Davis). The performance given by Finlay and David was outstanding. The two navigated their way through the complexity of their characters with ease and distinction. Both characters (Sarah and Tony) had internalised battles with themselves, their integrity and their beliefs, the portrayal of this through Finlay and Davis was raw, unfiltered and full of personality.
Writer and actor Robert Boulton kept the audience on the edge of their seats with the wit and comedic likeness to that of the Hangover films with the added intensity of Netflix’s Black Mirror and Behind her Eyes. Something like this is incredibly difficult to relay to stage without the big budget cameras, crew lighting and set design of these Hollywood films and TV shows; and yet every member of the team behind this show managed to do it so effortlessly and seamlessly.
The plot likened itself to that of Promising Young Woman with an ending that is far more satisfying to the female audience than the film in which it is similar. The emotional growth of the characters is something that can be applauded in both the actors portraying them and the writer (Robert Boulton) and director (Micheal Cortell) creating them. In this aspect of the show Finlay bought her character to life with emotional integrity, and a bitter revenge on sexism in the workplace, no matter how abstract that workplace might be. She showed honestly how women everywhere face it day to day and often brush it off with smart and sarcastic comments after each mansplained soliloquy. Each sexist comment made towards the character of Sarah chips and chips away at her until by the end, there are no more funny jokes or sarcastic comments left to cover the cracks.
This story is a perfect example of the consequences of social media. It really makes you think, in a dystopian future or a future not so far from the present, the fate of someone’s life could be rested on a like or a heart react; their life is hanging in the balance of social acceptance which is something many teenagers and even adults face in day to day life today. In his own words Robert Boulton comments ‘I want to make people laugh through the darkness’, and he certainly did just that.