Never Have I Ever | Minerva Theatre, Chichester | Review

Never Have I Ever

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Friday 1st – Saturday 30th September 2023

A world premiere currently playing at the intimate Minerva Theatre Chichester is Never Have I Ever.  A first play, written in a matter of days, by Deborah Frances-White, comedian, writer and host of The Guilty Feminist podcast.  Initially she was approached by Emma Butler (Director) and a regular listener of the podcast, to develop a script as part of a workshop programme at the Almeida Theatre.  Deborah did not hesitate to take up this opportunity and before long the play was born.  Unfortunately, as happened with so much, the inevitable delay caused by the pandemic pushed this spirited production back to 2023.

With a loan from their longstanding wealthy friend Tobin, Jacq and Kas have been running a small boutique restaurant for the past two years.  However, the investment has failed and they have therefore nervously invited Tobin and his wife Adaego round for a meal to own up to the financial failure.  Nothing seems off the menu and as an abundance of vintage wine flows, that starts a dangerous drinking game. insults and shocking revelations are hurled between the four university friends, culminating in an unspeakable dare…..

Designer Frankie Bradshaw has excelled with her superbly designed restaurant set, and inspired effects that punctuate the scene changes, which is bordered on three sides by floor level wine racks and chef stations at every table.

An established cast made-up of Alex Roach (Jacq) Amit Shah (Kas) Greg Wise (Tobin) and Susan Wokoma (Adaego) take their characters on a journey through a savage barrage of accusations touching on feminism, sexual politics, infidelity, inequality and ultimately betrayal.

This very modern play about contemporary society is larded with extremely colourful language throughout, is visually stunning and extremely well performed by the energetic and talented ensemble.  None of the characters are particularly endearing but somehow ones empathy shifts from one to another as the storyline unfolds, posing the question – what would you do…..?


Reviewer: Jill Lawrie

Photo: Helen Murray