CUCKOO at Royal Court Theatre
This play portrays the everyday life of a typical British family, highlighting the dynamics among the mother, her adult daughters and the grand daughter, who frequently visit but remain preoccupied with their phones and social media during family gatherings, often expressing complaints about life. The first half of the show intriguingly builds a sense of mystery around the teenage granddaughter, who isolates herself in her room.
As the second half unfolds, the play delves into the increasingly common mental health challenges associated with the modern world, particularly those related to social media. Tensions within the family escalate like an impending storm.
While the show maintains a deliberate pace, it remains captivating due to its relatable depiction of familiar situations. The dialogue is laced with humor, adding an engaging dimension to the overall experience.
Despite the anticipation for a climactic moment, the expected storm never materializes, leaving the play to conclude on an open-ended note that lacks the dramatic impact desired. This ending feels like an aborted moment of catharsis, preventing the play from reaching its full potential.
The production boasts commendable scenes and convincing acting, crafting a compelling story up until the final five minutes. However, it appears that the director missed an opportunity to explore the theme of mental health more profoundly if that was indeed their intention. Without delving deeper into this aspect, the play runs the risk of merely portraying a moody phase of a teenage girl, which can be perceived as somewhat annoying without proper context.