‘Kneecaps’ (Moot Point Collective) | Review By Lewis C. Baird

Moot Point Collective in association with Framework Theatre Company presents a brand-new piece of writing from Joe Hunter in the form of ‘Kneecaps’. This exciting new play follows ex-partners Ali and Jess dealing with their past struggles while trying to survive a life-threatening new epidemic. 

Katrina Allen is incredible as Jess, the emotional depth and comic nuance laced within this performance is so engaging to watch. As an audience member you feel hooked on Katrina’s presence, Jess seems like the more confident and put-together of the couple, however as the play reaches its pinnacle, the veil is lifted to reveal a vulnerable and broken woman. The complexity of Jess is performed exquisitely by Katrina and the range this actress holds is clear; she is undoubtedly one to watch. 

Shelley Middler brings powerful emotion, desperation and splintered faith as Ali. Shelley performs Ali with her guard truly down, you see the vulnerability, the raw emotion and the love she has for Jess. Ali’s inner conflicts are laid bare through Shelley’s performance, it’s clear from the moment she walks on stage the connection the two characters have and the status in which Ali holds as the more heartbroken of the two. However, Ali gains a higher status and power towards the closing of the play where we see a woman who is fed up of being entangled in her partner’s flaws. Shelley’s profound performance shows the emotional turmoil of a toxic relationship with faith and love so candidly. 

Shelley Middler & Katrina Allen.

Joe Hunter pens ‘Kneecaps’ with such a creative and ingenious scope. The brilliantly bizarre concept they have conceived looks unfathomable on paper, but the themes and issues explored surrounding Jess and Ali’s turbulent relationship bring many dimensions to this text. That paired with the comedic nuances present brings sheer artistry and also a lot of entertainment value. This is a brilliant piece of new writing which will hopefully be present for many years to come. 

Rachel Fraser’s direction of ‘Kneecaps’ embraces the naturalism of this play, by truly embedding the domestic setting. This helps bring Jess and Ali’s relationship to life and bring a sense of realism to make their world not so different from our own. With that, the absurdity explored in the conditions of the epidemic is also very much present, bringing farcical moments helping to hit the comedic notes of the text. There are points where the absurdist qualities of the epidemic could have been leaned on heavier, bringing more depth to the events unfolding outside of the flat, however, that may have dampened the emotional profundity of Ali and Jess’ relationship. 

‘Kneecaps’ is a brilliant two-hander that features an incredible cast equipped with an ingeniously creative script. The cast and creatives are ones to watch for within the Scottish theatre industry, hopefully this isn’t the last we have heard of this play. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Click here for Moot Point Collective’s Twitter.

Click here for Framework Theatre Company’s website.

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