The cooking show for decades has served as a form of light entertainment for millions – for those new to cooking, enticing recipes from all over the world now brought to their attend, for the more skilled cook – the chance to hone in on their skills further. A staple of our television screens and the influencer realm, many a personality have made their presences known – in the case of Shamila Sulaiman’s Roll Your Sleeves With Eve, following Eve, an influencer turned mainstream superstar chef, who carefully builds up an empire and experiences what in turn follows.
The year’s 2050, and we’re deep into an AI run reality. Aboard a pristine cabin, overpowered by an Alexa-style, omniscipient therapeutic lead, Eve (Sara Mokonen) unravels her life story – and what has ultimately resulted in her having to receive the rehab she now finds herself having. A strong personality who knows exactly what she wants – she’s accustomed to the occasional outburst – which in turn gets her into a lot of trouble. Spurred on by loving husband Ezekiel (David Ajayi), we see an impassioned power couple determined to make waves across platforms. Internal working politics behind the scenes threatening to hinder Eve’s chances, but inevitably a part of the dog eat dog world of the media.
Sulaiman offers a fresh take on the sci-fi theatre genre on our influencer led media landscape – although set two decades into the future, there’s relevancy in a time where we’re currently on the cusp of transitioning into a more AI based world. Sulaiman’s digital literacy reads well here, we see man and machine live side by side and navigate the world. The show’s fractured structure necessarily breaking down the events that have made the seemingly egotistical Eve who she now is – a fighter who wants to make her mark on the world. Mokonen’s Eve dominates, Ajayi’s Ezekiel is the loveable, Eve’s outgoing support system. Ikesha Avo’s Starlight – Eve’s producer a quirky 80 something who loves her job yet clashes with Eve. Akua Anim’s Kelly, Eve’s older sister a distant energy, Iain Gordon’s Kane – Kelly’s boyfriend a manipulative presence that controls the lives of those around him. Jonathan Luwagge’s Shaffer an entertaining presence invited onto Eve’s show as a guest. Jamal Lowe’s Romario – a once thriving presenter of a popular debt advice show, captivating – energised with an unrivalled charisma perfect to television.
Roll Your Sleeves with Eve is a cautionary tale on the impact of fame and how unresolved traumas can manifest. The show’s therapeutic framing a reminder of the importance of seeking healing if needs be.
Written by Lucy Basaba.
Roll Your Sleeves with Eve is currently showing until Sunday 25th June 2023 at the Chelsea Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…