Swan Bake, written by Samson Hawkins, is a new offbeat show about a former ballet dancer kicked out of the Royal Ballet for being addicted to the fictional drug nonce. Bell (Lucie Shorthouse) happens to be dating a nun, Maria (who is actually played by a man, James Watkins), and is living in the house of an extremely corrupt priest, Father Rupert (Alex Stevens), who charges her with obtaining the drug for him and gets a bit carried away at Christian rallies.
The show is bizarre and very funny, with absurd characters, puppets, and strange hallucinations – the Pope of the Rats was a particular favourite. I also liked the way in which the drug was represented – by bubbles.
Swan Bake doesn’t have really anything new or profound to say about drug addiction, but then, it isn’t that kind of play. Rather it’s a bizarre, comedic sketch full of interesting characters, and well worth seeing.