The Bloody Livid Theatre Company presents: How to Make Friends in Hollywood, a one-woman show written and directed by Geronimo Bennington-Poulter, performed by Nyree Williams.
Nyree plays a variety of characters, including ageing Hollywood starlet Lindsey Ordell, her daughter Keira, personal assistant Sandra Cave, a gardener called Fernando, and her power-hungry rival, Claire.
The premise of the play is as follows: Claire propositions Sandra to steal Lindsey’s scandalous memoir, to stop them from being published and, of course, chaos ensues.
Much of the performance is narrated through Sandra Cave’s sharp monologues, which have a witty, Bridget Jones tone. In Lindsey’s memoir, Sandra reads her experiences through the haze ‘Utterly twisted on screwballs, tequila whilst shooting, butchering, and eating her first stag.’
The character of Lindsey was similar to Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, as Geronimo adopts the trope of the bitter older woman, repurposing it for comedic effect. Lindsey’s dialogue was especially insightful sending the message, you have to put yourself first in Hollywood, which the audience learns this is not always the case as the play progresses.
Nyree gave a convincing performance of all the characters, delivering a number of different accents and impressions. Her portrayal of Sandra was particularly enjoyable as well as light-hearted in its persistent mocking of celebrity culture.
The best impression was a well-delivered imitation of Colin Firth, which depicted him giving Lindsey and another actor LSD before a rehearsal. Other hilarious moments included: ‘A rent boy, now a well-respected actor and a mundane household object […] the rent boy and the mundane household object are classified!’, where Sandra find out that Lindsey had an encounter with Michael Cain.
Covering a lot of ground in such a short space of time, How to Make Friends in Hollywood draws the audience in from the beginning, particularly scenes where Lindsey becomes emotional about her daughter.
It was refreshing to see a production which had no props and few stage effects other than lights; this allowed Nyree’s performance to stand alone and captivate the audience. I recommend you catch How to Make Friends in Hollywood whilst you can.