Holly Fitzpatrick’s new play Lavender swept the audience with tears of laughter and sentiment for two nights at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham following the cancellation of its debut at VAULT Festival. Layered with crude humour, political, and social commentary, this story follows two young women through murky waters of friendship, girlhood, and queer love.
Two young women, Nancy and Lucy pull–and-push each other through childhood innocence and adolescence chaos. When their (girl)friendship unravels into an unspoken desire, both internal and external forces press down on them. Their fifteen years of intimate history speaks of what it is like to grow up and find love in the South West as girls. Moreover, Lavender remarks on the melancholic side of love. A love that is so delicate that it results in fear to profess or claim it - because it might shatter, one could cut themselves with broken shards. Lavender captures that sentimental aspect of love whilst adding political commentary to it, creating a humorous balance.
The actresses Laura King (Nancy) and Leah Ingall (Lucy) perfectly embody the characters to the point that they invite audience members themselves into their bedroom. The production reeks of regional creative youth, though one could comment it was regional enough to confuse someone who does not have the appropriate cultural context. Nonetheless, the studio buzzes with laughter, affirming the relatability of the play.
Lavender echos queer female stories of the South West. Although the two leads sometimes feel a little stereotypical and two-dimensional, I felt as though they somewhat represent the experience of ordinary life, and others must have too, judging from the audience's heavy cheers.