In a world full of dead-end jobs and cyber stalking, there’s nothing a bag of chips and your best mate can’t solve, right?
A review by Tanya Howard
Cold Chips, written by Isabelle Stokes, is the story of best friends Ella and Ryan who meet on the same bench, just down from their favourite chippy, every Friday. Seeking comfort in each other to find their way in life and taking a moment away from the hardships of fending for themselves and “adulting” both are grateful to have someone by their side to make life seem a little better.
Alex and Olivia, co-founders of female-led theatre company, Tiny Theatre Co previous debuted Cold Chips as a short play in their Spring Season and after an amazing response they debuted the full length version last week. Olivia took on the role of Ella, a sensible girl who learned the right way to handle money and a job from her mum Jane, but bounces from relationships and cyber stalks her ex boyfriends wondering if she will be single forever.
Hippolyte Poirier plays best friend Ryan who can’t hold down a job, can’t grasp the concept of saving and has to ask Ella to held him get to the next pay day from time to time. Kicked out by his Dad who is sick of Ryan losing yet another job he moves in with Ella but they still have their Friday night chips on their old faithful bench. The two had really great chemistry and portrayed their friendship so well, as they bickered, laughed, cried and supported each other it was easy to feel a sense of attachment and think of your own friendships.
Although the majority of the play is set on the bench there are other scenes including Ryan in his different jobs, Ella packing up her house as her tenancy is due to expire, a very comical moment where Ryan approaches his Dad in the manner of a hunter approaching a wild animal narrating in a David Attenborough inspired monologue. With a small amount of set and props a play can sometimes lose itself because there’s nothing too tangible to hold onto, or there’s not enough to really get yourself truly into the story but with Cold Chips they managed to keep you immersed in every moment.
There is a sense throughout the story that they are building up to something, a finale moment that had you on the edge of your seat wondering if you’d worked it out. I won’t give away the ending but let me tell you that there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience and Olivia and Hippolyte’s acting was incredible, you can’t bring an audience to tears feeling every moment alongside you if you don’t have a great talent and these two definitely do. Despite guessing the ending it didn’t come across as a cliche and I thought it was a lovely piece, written, directed and performed extremely well.