‘an intriguing piece which navigates frequently explored topics in intelligent and unexpected ways.’
The Buzz is a play about the compromises we make, such as sacrificing your career for your relationship, or indeed sacrificing your relationship for your career. Or is it? Lydia Rynne’s captivating new play shifts gears several times. It takes the audience in some unexpected directions and each part of the journey is compelling.
We start with Josh (Andrew Umerah) and Kyla (Sassy Clyde), a glamourous couple enjoying Josh’s increasing musical fame. Well, one of them is. Kyla’s frustration at her own fading success and the lack of acknowledgment for co-writing Josh’s songs increases with each glass of rosé she drains. She finds it increasingly difficult to keep a sense of her true self and Clyde captures Kyla’s predicament well. Umerah is also excellent, conveying Josh’s ordinary-guy-got-lucky charm perfectly. A modern musician who refrains from getting drunk and late nights, but is subservient to his producers. He has the air of a man who has sleepwalked into fame and is out of his depth, getting pulled in different directions because he is reliant on the talent of others.
There have been many great plays with a visitor arriving at the front door unexpectedly, turning a couple’s world upside down, and Nate’s (Gabriel Cagan) entrance does this intriguingly in The Buzz. He is Kyla’s younger brother, no longer living in their hometown of Chorley and now part of an anarchist squat in a disused Woolworths down the road. He questions Kyla distancing herself from her roots but they are soon having great fun as the booze flows. Then a second unexpected visitor, Cordelia (Hannah Duffy), arrives, and all hell breaks loose. It is difficult to write about this part of the play without giving too much away, but suffice to say Cordelia totally shifts the focus of the action once again.
With taut direction from Velenzia Spearpoint (with movement direction from Roman Berry), the play also triumphs in the small details: Nate and Kyla’s believably joyous and shambolic version of Talking About a Revolution; Josh’s sideways glances to check himself in the mirror; and Cordelia’s subtle shaking when she first sees Josh, suggesting that she has an important story to tell, if anyone will listen and believe her.
The Buzz is an intriguing piece which navigates frequently explored topics, such as the vacuousness of celebrity and the vileness of male entitlement, in intelligent and unexpected ways.
Photography: Hannah Bragman
THE BUZZ written by Lydia Rynne and directed by Velenzia Spearpoint
Produced by The Bread & Roses Theatre
The Bread & Roses Theatre, Clapham 8 - 19 May 2018
Andy Curtis is a playwright who regularly has plays performed in London fringe theatre.