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Seven Methods Of Killing Kylie Jenner (Play Review) Seven Methods Of Killing Kylie Jenner (Play Review)
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Seven Methods Of Killing Kylie Jenner (Play Review)

In this tongue-in-cheek dram a, writer Jasmine Lee Jones, postulates the gruesome ways one could kill Kylie Jenner, who for the uninformed is an American media personality, model, businesswoman, social influencer, billionaire and half-sister to Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian.

 

Cleo (Danielle Vitalis) is holed up in her small flat firing tweets left right and centre under the name of Incognegro, ranting on various subjects including ways murdering Kylie because she’s sick and tired of the way she manipulates social media.

 

One method she suggests is ‘death by poison’, preferably with the temporary lip fillers that got her on the cover of well-known fashion magazines. Payback she says for when similar images of a black model with full lips was deemed ugly and mocked horrendously on Instagram.

 

Another method she proposes is ‘death by drowning’. Just like the thousands of souls lost in the Mediterranean sea, in their attempts to flee for a better future.  She would like to see her drown in a sea of the millions of images of herself that float around the Internet.

 

Trying to keep things in check, without much success and prevent the inevitable Twitter backlash, in particular from ardent Kylie fans is her best friend Kara (Tia Bannon).

 

The banter between the two girls is fresh, refreshing humorous and enlightening. We are, for 90 minutes, allowed into the strange and often disturbing alternative world of the millenia female who live their livees in a parallel twitter world.

 

As the play progresses the repercussions of her outrageous tirade come thick and fast. Soon, like all things in cyberspace, the tables turn, and the homophobic posts she made as a teenager are unearthed, forcing her into a grovelling apology and retraction of many of her tweets regarding the object of her diatribe.

 

At the heart of this play is the issue of cultural appropriation. As Cleo elegantly states in one of her many monologues: Inside her tweet is hundreds of years of anti-blackness and the present-day dehumanisation of the black female body and the idolisation of the white female”.

 

The play bravely tackles this thorny issue head on, Where even today many ask, now that black culture is so mainstream, with the influence of hip hop music and BVE (black vernacular English) being used by popular brands, is it still possible accuse people of appropriation?

 

Danielle is outstanding as the political keyboard warrior, who on the one hand wants to see black activism taken to another level. As she puts it “The whole passive resistance singting? Not for me bredrin.” But on the other is weak and vulnerable, deeply tortured by the bullying she received as a child because of her dark skin and thick lips.

 

Tia, puts in an admirable performance as her recently announced lesbian friend who has only just become comfortable with her sexuality after many years of torment sleeping with numerous partners in an attempt to deny her real preference. Covering the stage with great effect, she’s very convincing as the loyal buddy trying to steer her friend from online disaster.

 

To bring a modern twist, director Milli Bhatia sets the action between the stage or ‘in real life’ (IRL) and twitterland (TL). However, the swapping of scenes between IRL and twiterland didn’t work that well and would have benefited from putting the twiterlude on a screen to allow the audience to better follow the swift and sharp posts and replies. Also much of it was in ‘tweetspeak’ that could only be fully appreciated by those familiar with this cyber language.

 

Seven Methods Of Killing Kylie Jenner is a fine attempt at tackling one of the burning issues cultural issues facing modern socieity today. Is it ok for fashion and cosmetic brands to hire ‘olive’ skinned skin ‘nonblack’ models but use black vernacular copy to promote their products in a desire to look cool and trendy? Go see this play and decide for yourself.

 

4- 27 July , Jerwood Theatre Upstair £18, Mon £12 For details and concessions visit https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/sevenmethods/

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