Coming into this production, I thought I knew what I would experience but I was in for a surprise.
Based in the time of the second world war, Kites is a tale of female friendships that grow with time, with age and within different and ever changing time periods. Kitty and Angel begin a friendship from small children and we experience with them how they become friends, take on the world through boys and travel and challenges of the time periods from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and onwards. There is a nostalgic feel yet a tale we can relate to to some degree, no matter who we are.
Instantly, it is clear that these two performers not only have a good relationship as acting partners but that this obvious connection potentially draws from personal relationships. Female friendship is something unique, and this production adds to this by touching upon a time when women weren’t as free and liberal as they can be now days; it showcases the pressures on woman back then and how detrimental it can be to mental health and relationships.
There is a youthfulness to this production; as we travel through time with these two, we see them play and create ideas together; they dream of the moon and the world and the adventures that they can experience and we relate to this from our own dreams. We remember those days of make believe and ease of being a child. We know the feeling when life gets in the way or we have to grow up. The transition for each character is gradual and relatable.
The only issue I had was that it felt as if it lost momentum. Time is taken to establish the characters, their lives, their friendships but it becomes rushed – as if the change that they want to convey needed to be squeezed into the time frame. When it was meant to get meatier, I wanted it meaty. I wanted to feel the raw emotion and the turmoil, to see the difference and to feel the reconciliation between these old friends. But it just felt like a rushed end when it would have been nice to give more time to these emotions.
Kites is a lovely play that any friendship, no matter gender, can relate to. Setting it in a past time period echoes the challenges women faced and how, despite this, friendship begins and grows, just as it does now. I just wanted there to be a little bit of breathing space to feel more of the emotions.