Theatre Review: La Chunga at Church Street Theatre
Fantasy and reality are intertwined in this seductive fringe production
Church Street Theatre, Stoke Newington Church Street, N16
Fantasy and reality intertwine in this seductive fringe theatre show based on an award-winning international play presented by Second Skin Theatre in the tiny theatre within Ryan’s Bar.
The focus is on one night when three self-styled super studs and a bar owner in fifties Peru battle for the affection of beautiful Meche, played by Niki Khitrova.
Director Andy McQuade’s passion is evident for this tale of morality and lust with scenes skipping creatively between the past and present.
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The husky voiced Victoria Grove is compelling as the tough landlady Chunga with her perfectly timed put-downs and Patrick Doherty steals the show with his visual intensity in the role of the increasingly dastardly Josefino.
La Chunga becomes ever-more engaging as it progresses with the flaws and humility of the characters exposed for all to see. Spare a thought for the hapless Lituma (played by Corin Rhys Jones) whose El Zorro attempts to woe the woman fall flat humorously - and brace yourselves for a lesbian scene.
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As fanciful as La Chunga is, it deals with issues of romance, sadness and weakness which may resonate with everyone. And the inspired direction, enthusiastic cast and intimate setting give the story the platform it deserves.
* La Chunga is showing at the Church Street Theatre, in Stoke Newington Church Street, N16, until Sunday, October 2.