Ratchet Theatre has obtained the rights to produce Dark Vanilla Jungle in London. At Camden’ Etcetera Theatre to be precise. Planning is still in its early stages but we do know the dates, which are 6th – 11th November 2017 and we will be performing from 7.00pm each evening.
Whether or not Dark Vanilla Jungle is performed again depends on the availability of the cast (i.e. Katie) and fellow company member Jeremy. There are other ideas on the horizon though. Keep coming back to check...
a dynamic piece of storytelling that was lived and breathed rather than simply relayed...
Katie Bottoms’ portrayal of an ordinary woman swallowed whole by the world around her is at once sensitive and visceral Intermission Magazine
Dark Vanilla Jungle was first produced in 2013 and starred (Game of Thrones') Gemma Whelan before being taken to the Edinburgh Fringe in the same year. Ratchet Theatre's production toured in the South West during 2016. "A beautiful, breath-taking drama about one girl's craving for family and home… and the lengths she will go to achieve them".
Since then it has become a seminal play, not just reflecting on life as a young person but attacking it and leaving as many questions unanswered as answered. Andrea's story is sad, captivating, frustrating and heart-wrenching. It leaves you drained of emotion.
Katie Bottoms plays Andrea, a young girl abandoned by her family, groomed and abused by sexual predators and rendered homeless. Depressing? In part, but Ridley allows her spirit and sense of hope and possibility to shine through in sections of Bleak Humour that are breathtakingly brilliant. . After all, Andrea has done nothing wrong. She has been abandoned, first by her parents, then by her boyfriend, and then by a family she thought she belonged to.
This play runs for 1 hour 40 minutes but time is irrelevant, you are swept along on a wave of emotion, first bewilderment, then empathy, then sympathy. By the end, this cauldron of emotion, having taken you in, will offer you back a blankness and emptiness that will have you questioning not just Andrea's situation but every bit of the journey she has been forced to take.
Katie Bottoms is Andrea, her demeanour, her self-pity, her lambasting of you, the audience, for doubting her honesty, her integrity. To relate a story of that length with conviction and realism takes some doing, to do it with so much emotional outpouring and inner hurt takes a rare talent. Katie Bottoms is that talent. This play will hang you out to dry all too easily; but despite this you will be so glad you stayed, stayed to hear a remarkable tale told with passion, compassion and extraordinary realism.
Ratchet Theatre is taking this gripping solo performance (running time 90 minutes with no interval) on a small-scale tour of theatres, art centres and colleges in the South West of England. The dates and venues are as follows –
What critics have said about Dark Vanilla Jungle –
a dynamic piece of storytelling
sensitive and visceral Intermission Magazine
Committed writing of the highest order. Relevant, topical, unbearable. Unmissable Guardian
Astonishing Theatre. Vitally important work. All women should see this. Do yourself a favour. Go! Big Issue