Spiked is a heartfelt piece about motherhood and social differences as three mothers await the destiny of their hospitalised children. An entire class of a London school has ended up in hospital and these particular women from different backgrounds deals with the situation in their own ways; which brings up a lot of tension and issues in their own lives.
The intimate space and small stage increases the intensity of the show. Unfortunately the intensity is unnecessary, at least in the beginning, as the acting is rather poor. It feels very strained to start off with and Karen is introduced, the lines and the flow of dialogue breaks down, which is disappointing, though it is opening night. This is luckily only for the first half an hour of the show, with it then improves drastically.
The writing here is fantastic. It is a great story and an original idea and it manages to create characters who really juxtapose each other, although sometimes even juxtapose themselves. Even though characters are three dimensional, Joanna, usually composed and posh, suddenly jumps to speak about spirituality, and it doesn’t come together the way it is likely intended. The script is funny and emotional, especially the monologue from the Kurdish mother, Rozhin, portrayed by Katie Clark. As she talks about their differences in background and views on life, it adds a whole new layer to a play that shows vulnerability in a great manner.
As the mothers also plays each others children in flashback moments, they really tested their acting and accents, and this pays off in the latter part of the performance. The understandable lack of costume change, though, results in the mothers outfits sacrificing their credability and The costumes obviously has to fit for them to be able to quickly change in to youth, but it sacrifices how believable the mothers outfits are and emphasises some of the issues in the character portrayal.
Despite the show improving throughout, the unison monologue which closes it changes the entire atmosphere of the show. It continues on to a few interviews from mothers but only repeats what the mothers have already said throughout. They tried to tell when they already showed. Ultimately it is not all bad – it’s a warm and funny piece, despite seeming under-rehearsed.