Review: Pretence

2 years ago
Stacey Waters

Pretence is a fascinating performance from Aimee Sanderson and Hayley Lawson Smith. The premise of the play is a simple one at heart: two actresses have received call backs for a prized part in a play from their idol. The next forty minutes that follow are possibly some of the cattiest and funniest that the audience will experience. 

Hidden within one of the cosy performance spaces at The Butterfly Club, the small stage is quite possibly the best place to have Pretence performed at. The size of the room allows both actresses to move about as necessary, storming off or out from the crowd – while still remaining within eyesight or hearing for every member of the audience. 

Sanderson in the role of Cleo struts onstage with all the confidence that a former child beauty pageant star can have. Contrasting her is Lawson Smith in the role of Maggie – a polar opposite of Cleo, far more relaxed and down to earth, to put it lightly. Both Sanderson and Lawson Smith play off the other wonderfully, engaging in an almost instant ‘frenemies’ relationship.

The show relies on little props, a bare stage and a handbag or backpack each is all that is used – possibly for the better. The use of props or any furniture would have interfered within the simplistic nature of the performance, drawing the audience away from the story on which they should be focusing. 

It’s difficult to describe Pretence without ruining the story. The story is a simple one at heart, but the writing skill of Hayley Lawson Smith has turned what is a basic story into a comedic and thought provoking friendship that the audience has the privilege of seeing play out on stage before them. There could be no better way to spend your evening than to be tucked away within The Butterfly Club, a mulled wine in hand while chuckling away at Pretence.



Pretence is showing at The Butterfly Club 3rd June to the 8th June. Tickets can be purchased at the Butterfly Club website or at the door.

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