Writer: Sabrina Mahfouz
Director: Stef O’Driscoll
Venue: Theatre Tent
Reviewer: Kris Hallett
With A Little Bit Of Luck is the second in a double bill of Sabrina Mahfouz’s work at Latitude this year following the propulsive Chef.The same weaving of the poetical into the everyday so is again evident here but with diminishing returns. A late night Festive crowd who packed the theatre tent were completely ready to party along to a garage score and when singer Martyna Baker is crooning the hits, with live music created by Gabriel Benn it has the same fizzing energy of the best club nights. Unfortunately the one women play around it, while still possessing turns of phrase and a forward driving momentum that marks Mahfouz out as a unique theatricalvoice, doesn’t have the material in the narrative to put it on a par with its predecessor.
Nadia is a young girl, who believes the world is hers to conquer. Alongside her wannabe MC boyfriend we follow her over the course of the hot summer of 2001, at the end of her first year of university, when garage has taken over the airwaves and hope is in the air. Not qualifying for a hardshit fund ‘Nadia loved books but she loved beats more’ she plans on selling ecstasy to help fund her second year. Seroca Davis portrays her in the third person alongside a host of other characters that pop up; most noticeably a policewomen in need of an arrest, an enterprising club owner and her ambitious boyfriend and Davis is a likeable and high energy presence who we can’t help but root for even as she hides drugs in inside herself to get through nightclub security.
Perhaps fittingly it’s the music that dominates in Stef O’Driscoll’s production. Whereas Chef took us into the devastating psyche of a women fighting to keep hope, the hope here remains in the garage beats. It’s a reminder of just how buzzing that scene was and just how many anthemic hits came from it. For a festive crowd it was perfect late night fare, whether it could sustain this type of energy over a traditional theatre run is a little less clear.