Theatre has found a new voice.
World, I present to you, Jasmine Lee-Jones, to, me, a cross between Arthur Miller and Carol Ann-Duffy (apologies the two homages are white but, needs must). Her two-hander piece, Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner is a revelation. The story revolves around Cleo (Danielle Vitalis) who has shut herself off from the rest of the world whilst taking to the Internet to vent her (arguably righteous) millennial anger to the world. The story begins when her best (and to some question) only friend Kara (Tia Bannon) comes to check on her.
Cleo’s anger is based on an issue that has been taking the world by storm, cultural appropriation, and the family spearheading the charge deep into that ignorant and racist land, the Kardashian/Jenners. With their lip-bum-boob injections, endless plastic surgery and pregnancy-like cravings for black men, it is only natural that a lot of black women are not “feeling their basic vibe”. But the seven ways in which Lee-Jones eloquently explains through Cleo why Kylie Jenner should be killed is more than any of us could ever hope for in terms of shining a frustrated, educated and eloquent eye on the subject matter.
This piece’s brilliance is in its writing without a doubt, but what is also noteworthy is how different this production could be staged by different teams. The fact that an all-female POC team put this together is a breath of fresh air that flows right through the production with intelligent staging and set design choices as well as direction, performative and physical. The acting is perfection but to me, Vitalis really owned her role of Cleo with every iota of her being. Her ability to control an audience is next to none and her physical comedy is brilliance. She is well countered by Bannon as a charming and enigmatic Kara, but not outshone.
I don’t want to give too much away but this piece really is an impressive foray into the world of the millennial, in terms of social media, dating, colourism, cyberbullying and sexuality. I would be very interested to see how it ages but massive props up to the new bard of the millennials.
See. This. Show.
Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner runs at the Royal Court Theatre until the 27th July. Find out more and book here.