Fast @ Park Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/fast
Booking until: 9th November
Run time: 70 minutes
Production Photographs by: Manuel Harlan.

After sell out shows at the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe festivals, Kate Barton’s play Fast has finally arrived in London into the very intimate Park 90 space. Fast is based on the true story of ‘Dr’ Linda Hazzard, who opened a Sanatorium in Wilderness Heights in 1910 to promote a new medical marvel. She had invented a new fasting cure that was meant to cure all illnesses. As you can imagine, the press were absolutely up in arms about it due to the amount of people who fell for this and died. Despite it being an interesting topic choice for a play, this production falls flat due to it’s predictability.

What does save this show is the highly charged performance from Caroline Lawrie, who plays Linda Hazzard. From the moment she steps on stage, she has this sort of Meryl Streep type energy that really draws the audience in to her portrayal. I also liked that she gave enough depth to her character, as I feel in the wrong hands the character would’ve been portrayed like a villain in a pantomime or a caricature. Daniel Norford gives a really good performance as a news reporter who is trying to catch Linda out. Jordon Stevens and Natasha Cowley are also very good and believable as sisters who fall into Linda’s trap. But I felt they were a bit hard to root for, because it was so obvious from the get go how it was going to end.

I did really like the use of multimedia throughout the production, with the use of voice overs and projections. And I do think it’s an interesting piece to dramatise about a woman in history that isn’t that well known. That said, I wish it was more gripping and played more into the element of mystery more.

Until next time,

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