Review: Immaculate

By Milly Wicks

Immaculate explores the story of Mia, a 26 year old who is clearly lined up to be the next Virgin Mary, as she finds herself pregnant having not had sex for over nine months. To make matters worse, she is then presented with the archangel Gabriel (on behalf of God) and Lucifer on her doorstep, both claiming parentage of her unborn baby. This performance is set in Alington House, which was a perfect choice for the play. The audience are directly in line with the actors, which makes the play immersive, and the fourth wall breaks are more impactful because of the smaller setting. The space is well utilised, following the evidently clear direction from Emily Browning, assisted by and Charlotte Aspden. In fact, it must be said that the entire team had a concise and specific image for the play, as every aspect of this production was cohesive. The excellent and intimate set which was messy and cluttered, was expertly designed by to perfectly mimic the chaos of Mia’s life. The publicity of the show was also extensive and varied, thanks to Producer Alexander Bittar, assisted by Alessia Laird. All of these elements were holistically integrated to the production and creative team’s vision.

In fact, it must be said that the entire team had a concise and specific image for the play, as every aspect of this production was cohesive

It goes without saying that the performers in this production are all absolutely phenomenal, this is an incredibly talented cast. Playing very varied characters, each individual has their own nuanced take on their part, which played to every performers’ strength. From the camp energy of Gabriel (Alexander Bittar), to the haunting ex-boyfriend Micheal (Alex Davies) who’s brilliant facial expressions had me in stitches, to the realism and sarcasm of Mia (Eleanor Sumner); the sheer variety of the performances reflects the versatility of the cast involved.

Eleanor Sumner (playing Mia) and Alexander Bittar (playing Gabriel) gave two standout performances. The chaotic and unpredictable nature of Mia, is perfectly executed by Sumner, as she really milks all the comedy that the script gifted her with. In fact, her performance is so authentic, it was naturally funny, and no joke feels forced. In a similar vein, Bittar is truly hilarious. His physicality and presence onstage is scene stealing, most evident through his purposeful reactions to the many other dramas within the play, even when he is not directly involved.

This production could have benefited from a more contrasting relationship between Lucifer and Gabriel. There is an opportunity for Gabriel to have been characterised in a more inherently evil way, but the hyper-sexual take from is absolutely hilarious in its own right. Tying off the cast is Gary (Alfie Cook), Micheal (Alex Davies) and Rebecca (Juliette Willis), who although featuring less than other characters, have some brilliant moments of their own. The relationship between Rebecca and Micheal, following the shouting matches between Mia and Micheal, is very well executed through Willis’ naturalism and Davies’ extensive physicality and expression. Gary, only appearing in the second act, is brilliant. Despite featuring less than others, Cook really makes the character his own, lapping up the many laughs with his excellent delivery of some key lines. 

It goes without saying that the performers in this production are all absolutely phenomenal, this is an incredibly talented cast

Immaculate also really cleverly utilised sound and lighting. Specifically, when Rebecca’s internal discourse is playing on tape, the lighting change to a cooler tone helps illustrate this shift in perspective perfectly. Music throughout is hilariously chosen and adds to the sheer comedic value of the show as a whole. 

Overall, I would really recommend grabbing tickets to see the show for its last performance tonight (Friday 2nd,) as this is not one to miss. The entire team should be incredibly proud of their efforts.

Image credit: Alexander Bittar, Suffragette Theatre Company

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