Let Meowt! review by Shannessy Danswan
Let Meowt! is every cat lady’s wet dream (or worst nightmare, depending on where you’re sitting in the audience…) ‘Little Dirt Path’ takes to the independent theatre scene once again for the 2019 Fringe Festival, and this time, things are getting catty…
Pepper (Laura Moran) and Cinnamon (Catherine Holder) are two emotionally ferocious and fickle felines who are on a mission to get out of their mother’s bathroom, or “cold tile torcher chamber” as Pepper dramatically puts it. Clothed like kids playing dress up at a 9th birthday party, the costumes albeit simple, are effective and reflect their feline nature as faux fur vests act as their fur coats.
Having been stuck in close proximity with comparison and insecurity as the underpinning of their relationship, these two cats embody the likes of two petulant children. It’s incredibly humorous to witness their percolating sibling rivalry, which through their time together, we can see is not only limited to human sisters.
Validation appears to be that which the two felines fervently seek, Cinnamon even more so than the proud, pompous Pepper. Eager to please and forever attempting to prove her worth to her arrogant sister, Catherine Holder’s Cinnamon uses keen physical humour and harnesses the art of ‘milking’ a moment to get her point across. Eyeballing the audience while miming a laborious and extravagant escape routine is only one of the multiple moments in Let Meowt! where Catherine proves herself as a wonderful comedian.
Laura, however, steals the show with her overt facial expressions and comedic timing. Articulating herself like the lovechild of Shakespeare and the Good Place’s Tahani, Pepper places the blame for all of her woes on being trapped with the unintentionally dim Cinnamon. Through recurring motif and accompanying classical music shifts, envious green lighting reflects her thought processes as she recounts all of the times Cinnamon has disappointed her. Any theatregoer knows that recurring motif works a treat when trying to win your audience over by keeping them ‘in the know’, a technique that keeps the show moving quickly.
The French and Saunders style duo also work really well when finding clever ways to create scene transitions. The opening scene being the most impressive, as Pepper’s woeful meow’s turn to English, an intuitive transition into their world whilst also keeping us grounded in the fact that we are indeed watching an entire play about two unwitting cats; fearing for their life, who view minutes as days, and days as years, playing into the ‘eternal’ essence of a cat’s existence.
Every cat mother would have wept at the sight.
Moreover, their perception of human nature is extremely endearing and allows the audience to connect with the absurd complexity of being a human and also empathise with the simplistic minds of our feline friends. The pair keeps this show light-hearted throughout and work within the cabaret-style setting to the best of their ability. The simple set, which houses a door, sink, and laundry basket sets us up to believe the world they are in, but also leaves them room to perform the most intense and strange interpretive classical ballet routine I have ever seen.
Overall their characterisation is strong, however Catherine often gets lost in Laura’s shadow. As a result, it would have been great to see some more character development, in addition to a stronger narrative arc where the audience can really be invested in the livelihood of these characters. Other than that, Let Meowt! is a cute and quirky piece of comedic theatre; a common theme within ‘Little Dirt Path’s’ work. I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to know what their feline friends are getting up to when they’re not around.
Let’s just say, be sure to discard of your sanitary napkins accordingly…
Oh! Now you’re intrigued!
I guess you will have to see the show now to find out what I mean…