For anyone who has regularly read reviews I have written, they will know that a five star review is indeed a rare bird. It has been said that sometimes I am uber-critical, but I think that I am also justifiably fair. Therefore, after coming away this afternoon from the first of only four performances of Baobab Tree Theatre Company's inaugural Fringe offering, King Jack Queen, I can think only that this is a most excellent piece of non-conventional theatre using a non-theatre space.

I really don't want to tell you what happens or how, since no matter what I write would indeed soften the experience. Suffice to say that this is a fully immersive and unique happening. You are part of it right from the start, as we play a card drinking game with Danni and Jack at their flat before going to a night club; and so the conclusion makes you feel that you somehow was also partially culpable for the outcome, and it is an uneasy feeling.

We are guests, friends, and therefore collaborators in the unfolding sequence of events which, unhappily must be a very frequent indeed perhaps daily occurrence. It is an issue which this company feel very strongly about and an issue which indeed does need addressing. There is humour, camaraderie and bonhomie which makes the final scene all the more stark and uncomfortable.

The two actors taking us on their personal journey were superb. Eloise Bonney plays Danni, the victim, whilst the perpetrator was newcomer Joseph Palmer as Jack. It is full credit to their performances and the excellent directing by Katrina Greer when, upon leaving, one audience member said that he wanted to boo and confront Jack. There was no bow at the end, it would not have been right; and there was a somewhat awkward pause after the play had finished before we felt it was OK to applaud. Bravissimo!

Reviewer: Mark Dee

Reviewed: 7th July 2017

North West End Rating: ★★★★★