You Are the Kitten

You Are The Kitten The Mill Adelaide 2024Who Died and Called you King. The Mill. 14 June 2024


Gritty down to earth road show tale theatre, in production and performance, with a brilliantly developed black comedy end makes You Are the Kitten a gripping, must see, think-lots-after experience.


New Years Eve, Sydney:

Claire (Chrissy Miller) has busted out of home after a mother/daughter argument. She crashes into Elisabeth (Britt Ferry), a none too together human leading a too thin for its own good greyhound.


Somehow, in the midst of their equal or opposing goals for the day (which coincidentally includes mutual need to escape one thing, person or other), they hang together; kind of bond; build a loose plan to do NYE together. See fireworks at midnight.


What ensues is a series of encounters and experiences in which both women, with different backgrounds and realised, or unrealised, sufferings explore that through bent, wonderful, and twisted encounters culminating in a significant moment. The moment an op-shop owner blows dope smoke into a small kitten’s face. It’s a pivotal symbolic image. Are their lives, their experiences as awake or aware as a stoned kitten? Let’s see.


Ellen Wiltshire’s direction is ideal for stripped back bare bones theatre in which narrative is key, as is the design. Gloria (the greyhound Elisabeth leads) is represented by a heavy length of jetty rope, synonymous with Sydney harbour. That dog’s suffering is emulated in howling voice by Elisabeth during its part of the narrative.


Playwright Nicole Plüss’s characters are a brilliantly opposing yet united pair; Claire, a middle-class girl awaking to the reality of her sexual abuse by a family friend; Elisabeth, a very street wise, deep in poverty, smart arse, housed in a shit hole, with a cat house, filled with real cats.


The power of this gripping production is the choices these emotional misfits make. Claire is so easily led. Elisabeth so easily willing to offset her realty with such remarkable, gutsy, pop philosophy, chutzpah. It’s also too funny for subject matter. They are an absorbing duo of compatible incompatibilities. Ideologies that somehow find a wondrous dark unity.


The twist and turn of imagery and shared narration/action between Claire and Elisabeth is seamless as it is physically played out onstage. This is majestic poor theatre at its finest. Then it does a marvellous turn in the last quarter of the production. It’s the kicker. The thing that makes one think!


Playwright’s great achievement, well set by Director.


David O’Brien


When: 14 June

Where: The Mill

Bookings: Closed