Chuntey Review – Bunker Theatre

CHUTNEY

“The world’s shaking. I’m seeing the murder in everything. A cat crosses my path, I fantasise about throwing a grenade at it.”

A review by Tanya Howard

Reece Connolly’s Chutney is based around a frustrated young couple who find a new lease for life when they figure that they have a mutual attraction to murdering pets. Ignoring the strain in their relationship up until this point they create Operation Chutney and go on a murder spree of the neighbourhood animals. Sadly, this idea was not strong enough to warrant the two hour long play and by the second act I was willing the story to be concluded.

A night of pet sitting their friend’s Jack Russell lead to their first kill which they covered up as a fox getting in to the garden, life is finally worth living for Claire and Greg, suddenly they are putting hedgehogs in the blender and shooting arrows at cats in the local park. They are given the nickname of the Pet Butcher and it’s at this point they know they need to take a break so as not to arouse too much suspicion.

Claire who has missed killing animals since she used to go shooting with her Dad as a child goes on her own solo spree during their break and when Greg finds out he is distraught to find out she has been doing it alone. Feeling this was “their thing” he goes out and kills a bunny for Claire, linked to a back story to when she was a child, but instead of the joy he thought she would feel she is annoyed and turns her back on Greg in this moment.

This is when the story began to get lost on me, Claire had been on a solo murder spree for weeks and we are supposed to just forget that and be on her side when she is annoyed at Greg for being reckless, why is she in charge and able to do as she pleases with no consequence. The play consists of two acts, with thirteen acts in total, all announced by an animatronic fish that seems out of place with the pristine kitchen set.

There were some good jokes here and there but not enough to sustain the two-hour long play and even some of the funny parts lost their humour when the joke was overplayed throughout the story. I will say that the killing scenes were done well, and the actors put their all into their performances, but the drawn-out scenes made even the humorous points mundane as I felt it could have been done in half the time and been a winner.

Photo Credit: Rah Petherbridge