…cake @ Theatre Peckham Review

Transporting us back to the early noughties with their psychological drama ...cakebabirye bukilwa presents a complex yet honest portrayal of motherhood and mental health.

Courtesy of Seye Isikalu.

Care free in spirit, Eshe – Sissy’s mother exudes a confidence and passion for life, clearly a survivor who has had to fend for herself, she’s strong and not afraid to put forward how she feels. Sissy, Eshe’s daughter, who’s in her teens shares that survival instinct, a young adult starting to also fend herself, an independent and silently resilient spirit navigating both school and home life. We witness the tumultuous dynamic between the pair, both headstrong, and both trying to do their best, we’re constantly observing the shifting power dynamic between the two, a clever fixture of the play made possible by bukilwa’s attention to detail.

malakai sergeant directs a thoughtful and authentic play, Danielle Kassarate‘s Eshe a feisty, vivacious lead, nuanced as we never really know where we stand with her. Donna Banya‘s Sissy a calmer presence who embodies strength and stability, at points the show’s more authoritative figure. sergeant captures their unpredictable dynamic brilliantly, Debbie Duru‘s clustered, unkempt, compact living room and kitchen set up contributing to the show’s realism yet heightening the claustrophobic nature of the piece.

Vinyls adorn the set, a tribute to Eshe’s love of music. From Sade, to Lenny Kravitz to Des’ree, the noughties lives on, Eshe’s effortless freestyle, Jazz and rhythmic solo sequences throughout a welcome addition to the production, an opportunity to delve deeper into what Eshe really cares about, this serves as an extension to her character, really lovely to watch. …cake isn’t afraid to examine the impact of mental health within a family set up, creating a much needed space to open up conversation about it, an engaging watch.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

…cake is currently showing until Saturday 7th August 2021. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop