Cuddles – Ovalhouse

Cuddleswebmain5Eve is a thirteen year old vampire who lives chained up in the attic of a house where she lives with her sister. She never leaves this room for fear of sunlight and other people who are not safe. Newspaper is shredded, all over the floor and eve wanders around the room filthy and half naked, waiting for her sister to come and visit so she can feast on her blood. Sister Tabby is a high-flying business woman with a great job and a rather bad temper. She has finally met a man and fallen in love but how can she  start a new life with him when she has her deepest darkest secret locked away upstairs. Is it time for Tabby to tell the truth that her sister is a vampire, or is it time for Tabby to admit to Eve that things aren’t exactly the way she has grown up to believe they are?

Carla Langley is nothing short of incredible as Vampire Eve. She delivers long monologues with great facial expressions and makes the audiences love her and fear her at the same time. It is a very physical role, rolling around on the floor with her top off but she seems totally comfortable with what she is doing on stage. Rendah Haywood is brilliant as Tabby. She has invisible conversations with the man she is dating, delivering them in a comedic, Catherine Tate kind of way. Both actors play their characters to perfection but it does feel like watching two completely separate pieces which don’t appear to fit together at all. The climax of the show brings the two stories together but sadly leaves so many unanswered questions.

Cuddles is a brilliant play, unlike anything i’ve seen before but the story is left too open to feel fully satisfied and left me desperate to feast on more blood. If this eighty minute one act show were developed into a longer piece with more clarification around the circumstances, this could be an incredible piece of theatre.

Reviewed by West End Wilma 

Photo: Alex Beckett

Cuddles is playing at the Ovalhouse until 16 May 2015. Click here for tickets. The show will then play in Manchester and Plymouth as part of a UK tour before taking the show to New York for an off-Broadway run.