Hope Has a Happy Meal (NHB Modern Plays)

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Hope Has a Happy Meal (NHB Modern Plays)

Hope Has a Happy Meal (NHB Modern Plays)

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A nod to Annie May Fletcher is a must for their sound design; it is key to the fast pace of the piece, with transition sound effects aiding jumps forward in time. Although the quest narrative plotting slackens a bit too much towards the end of this 100 minute show, there are plenty of good passages of dialogue, with some lovely humour. It's an opening that works by holding its nerve, building up the humour by leaving us not knowing where it’s going. Follow Hope on a surreal and frenetic quest through a hyper-capitalist country in this new play by Tom Fowler , directed by Royal Court Associate Director, Lucy Morrison. Felix Scott gives a panoply of excellent performances, from a brutal cop to a hopeless ex-husband, and there is enough vim and vigour to the production that when Isla announces that “this is, like, the best adventure ever!

Felix Scott is hilarious as the smooth talking Koka Kola Airlines captain, who multi-roles as Wayne the murderous cop (Wayne incidentally gets a national holiday in his name by the end of the play). Laura Checkley as protagonist Hope is endearing, down to earth and funny, especially when she busts out the dance moves. In the process she finds not only old family but new friends, and acts of kindness and solidarity along the way. They have everything from basic sourdoughs and baguettes to ciabatta, mini savoury filled focaccias and even Breton Kouign Amann.

Ali and Isla fall for each other and along the way the threesome find themselves unwittingly kidnapping Wayne – it turns out none have the stomach for cold blooded murder. If you would benefit from knowing more about specific content and themes in Hope has a Happy Meal, please read our list below. Lor is angry with Hope because she feels betrayed and abandoned when Hope left — and 24 years is a long time to wait for reconciliation. The second half is a skip through the months living together in the commune, dealing with humorous practicalities of keeping a hostage in the basement (someone’s got to empty the bucket), and watching Hope rekindle her frosty sisterly relationship with Lor. Perhaps its strongest message is about community togetherness and the power of people, though it never doubles down.

That’s absolutely fine, by the way, but I can’t help feeling that with characters this strong and a story this interesting, it might be a small, missed opportunity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show at The Royal Court with a weak cast, and Hope has a Happy Meal is no different. The piece runs out of steam before Isla gets a meaningful conclusion, but to Malone’s credit she handles the final scene perfectly; and made me care more for Isla than any other character.The reveal to Hope’s backstory isn’t as interesting as the shenanigans that preceded it, and we never discover what has motivated her to come back at this particular moment.

In this world, the old alternative communes have vanished, forests have been poisoned into sick wilderness, and Ronald McDonald bestrides the globe. I also like the psychological insights, expressed perhaps most directly in the clown game show sequence, and the drunken episode when Hope and Lor get plastered.Early on in the 90-minute runtime, their journey feels like a cross between ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – a sort of fantastical secular allegory for the world we’re essentially living in now. Photograph: Helen Murray View image in fullscreen Cheerfully fluorescent unease … Laura Checkley in Hope Has a Happy Meal. There are some fantastical moments, including a bizarre gameshow hosted by a makeshift Ronald McDonald which doesn’t add anything, and some soap opera drama cliches are thrown into the plot (think Chekhov’s gun) which don’t feel fully earned.

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