NEON TIGER at La Boite

NEON TIGER at La Boite

Co-created by Julia-Rose Lewis, Gillian Cosgriff and Kat Henry, Neon Tiger is a clever, witty and entertaining work about what it feels like to be alone in love and alone without love. Set in an average Karaoke bar on Kao San Road, Bangkok, Neon Tiger narrates the love story between Arisa (Courtney Stewart-Smith), a Thai woman in her mid-twenties who grew up in the USA with her parents and is on a quest to connect with her mother's culture, and Andy (Lisa Hanley), a clumsy and slightly ragtag looking Australian woman also in her mid-twenties who is trying to mend her heartache. They meet, sparks fly and then, as is in most rom-coms, the sparks die.

Despite it being a musical, Lisa Hanley is the only one that sings, whilst Smith awkwardly sits to the side and doesn't even pretend not to be uncomfortable. Although it would have been better if they'd both performed, Hanley has an incredible set of pipes and the lyrics of her songs are hilarious. The rap song at the start was an interesting choice, to say the least but the rest of the score was fantastic; easy to listen to and easy to start tapping your toes to. Lisa Hanley transforms the stage into a dance floor and Sarah Winter supplies the neon lights; but the dance done by the characters across the piece isn't always merry, but often melancholy, heart-felt and bitter. The characters' direct address to the audience was a very skilful directorial choice by Kat Henry, as it made me feel like I was a part of the narrative; a character from the sidelines waiting for their moment to step into the action.

While the piece made me laugh and forgot about the everyday black and white world that we live in, I don't want to go to the theatre just for a laugh. When I go the theatre, I want my views to be confronted; I want to leave the theatre thinking about what I just saw, what it meant. I want the piece to have a life after I leave the theatre, in my head. Instead, I left the theatre searching for something to think about. But that something never came.

Neon Tiger

Co-created by Julia-Rose Lewis, Gillian Cosgriff and Kat Henry

Performed by Courtney Stewart-Smith and Lisa Hanley at La Boite

Playing from 27th October - 17th November

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