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February 25, 2008 | by  | in Theatre |
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If you’re tired of seeing plays which make you feel like you’re not quite getting something, then Babycakes is one for you. Written by the Playmarket Young Playwright of the Year for 2007, Georgina Titheridge, Babycakes is Fringe comedy as it should be. Its lively characters and entertaining script make for an amusing night of laughter which reminds us that the theatre, while unarguably a vehicle for artisitic expression, is equally about having a good time.

Anais (Anya Tate-Manning) bumps into Haidee (Lee Smith-Gibbons) at a wedding reception. Haidee soon tells Anais that she is marrying their old workmate, Hayden (played by Byron Coll). Unbeknownst to Haidee, Anais and Hayden had a bit of a fling back in the day, involving feelings which, as one would expect, simmer back to the surface during the show. Anais’ date for the night, Matt (played by Aaron Cortesi) also sifts about causing conflict. While not a particularly original set-up, the show is bright, funny and good-natured.

The highlight of the play, for me, was the writing. Titheridge’s script is very funny and displays a keen sense of wit and comedy. Her characters are well fleshed-out, giving the actors plenty to play with and keeping a stable pace which doesn’t allow the audience any time to get bored. I’m not sure what I thought of the ending, though. I expected the relationships between the characters to change more significantly, but they didn’t, so in that respect I should say I was surprised by the ending, but I really didn’t feel as though I was surprised at all. Odd.

All of the show’s performers are of a very high standard and there is no weak link in the cast. Anya Tate-Manning as Anais is, as usual, very pleasant to watch, and Byron Coll works his receding hairline like Santa works his reindeer. Aaron Cortesi is believably sleazy, prompting the lady beside me to comment that he was “just like someone I know!” Lee Smith-Gibbons is on par with the others in the cast, showing off great comedic skill. Overall, a tight cast which has been well-bonded.

Babycakes is a show which is ultimately about having a laugh. It’s good, from time to time, to do this sort of thing. You might say that Babycakes is the theatre equivalent of a romantic comedy at the movies. It might not push too many boundaries, but that’s not the point — as long as you’ve had fun, the show has done well. And I did.

Written by Georgina Titheridge
Directed by Edward Watson
At BATS from Feb 17 to Feb 20

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