Chris Thompson’s Of Kith and Kin is one of the best plays I’ve seen this year. High praise indeed but deservedly so. The construction of the play and the script delivered by an excellent cast created ‘goose bumps’ and as the story played out and the tension built, the skill shown by this formidable cast was exceptional. This is the story of Daniel and Oliver, married gay men who via their friend Priya enter into an agreement where she will act as a surrogate for them and carry their child. All is well until a decision is made and this beautiful play goes in a wholly different direction to what we expect.
This is a modern, sophisticated comedy drama expertly created by director Robert Hastie. The emotional rollercoaster we are taken on is spell-binding. Chetna Pandya as Priya, Joshua Silver as Oliver, James Lance as Daniel, Joanna Bacon as Lydia and Carrie and lastly Donna Berlin as Arabelle have fantastic moments in the spotlight as they deliver exquisitely composed speeches by Thompson that brilliantly shape their character’s intentions.
The play has been staged so that the audience are seated on three sides of the space; this has the stunning effect of people being able to enjoy the intricacies of the action and the depths of emotion explored by the cast. Thompson’s play is about the power of mutual attraction, the need for sex, being threatened, recrimination, determination and East End rituals that made for some hilarious banter. This play is a really important work offering a profound and informative look at today’s society where people can now fulfil their dreams. Simply superb. Huge accolades bestowed on all concerned.