Review: Lucinda Spragg : An Evening With (Lion & Unicorn Theatre)
Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Lucinda Spragg is here to promote her new book, Jabby Dodgers - a title which reclaims the insult that the loony-left have dubbed her and her fellow anti-vaxxers, and turns it into a hopefully best-selling, autobiographical page-turner (self-published of course). For sixty minutes we are exposed to the rise, and slow fall, and little rise again of this vaccine refusing, Guido Fawkes reading, BBC hating (despite numerous question time appearances), shock jockey.
Grace Millie, who also wrote the script, bursts onto the stage as the eponymous Spragg, with the immediately recognisable riffs of Rage Against The Machine's anti-establishment anthem Killing In The Name Of belting behind her. Millie is an excellent performer, who takes to this familiar character like a fish to water, with wonderful coming timing and great visual gags bolstering her performance throughout the show - as well as Michael Faulkner putting in an adroit turn as her, by turns, helpful / un-helpful technician.
Millie has drawn a wonderfully detailed caricature of this Hopkins-esque, Farage-esque, Grimes-esque, Morgan-esque, Yiannopoulos-esque figure. People whose whole existence appears to be complaining that "you can't say anything these days", to a wide audience of people who agree with them, and then getting annoyed that they can't do the thing they are doing ad infinitum until the world ends. It's a wonder anyone can stomach them for more than five minutes, which is possibly why they are so well suited to our click-bait over content, soundbite obsessed times.
Anyway, the show has produced one of these figures for us to watch for an hour. It's almost like going to the zoo and seeing an animal you've only ever seen clips of online in the flesh. There is something hauntingly captivating about her electric energy, as she bounces from verbatim book-reading to providing backing vocals to Laurence Fox's unbelievably shit track The Distance. Huge credit must go to Millie, who blasts through the sixty minutes with laser-like precision and somehow manages to maintain a straight face as she insists Fox is some sort of musical genius.
It is difficult to truly skewer a character like this, to satirise the outrageous who are so full of obvious hypocrisies, vested interests, and asinine opinions it's a marvel they don't explode Mr. Creosote style in a shower of their self-aggrandising bullshit. Perhaps the most interesting revelation in the piece hints at her journey from centre-left liberal to alt-right wing nut, and I would like to have seen a more detailed inspection into the crowded conveyor belt that takes white, leftist liberals from their well-meaning homes, all the way over to frothing at the mouth alt-right, conspiracy theorists, whose defence of "British Values" always ends up amounting to little more than abusing minorities on social media and getting a spot on GB News to talk about themselves and how awful everything is (Christ, it's bleak). Millie does a phenomenal job at recreating this character, but I would like to see the show go a step further and try and pull apart that slightly stickier side of these sorts of entertainers (in the loosest sense of the word).
Presented by Moonloaf Theatre, Lucinda Spragg : An Evening With is excellently crafted, deftly performed and astutely observed and though I am steadfast in my hope that we might one day condemn these types of people to the trashcan of history, Lucinda is well worth spending the evening with.
Lucinda Spragg : An Evening With is on at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre until the 2nd April. More info and tickets are here.