seven methods of killing kylie jenner, Darlinghurst Theatre Co (NSW)
Written by Jasmine Lee-Jones, Co-Directed by Zindzi Okenyo and Shari Sebbens, with production design by Keerthi Subramanyam
Review by Charlotte Smee
Believe the hype. seven methods of killing kylie jenner is theatre for your inner angry bitch who is sick of speaking dissertation to get her point across – and she’s going on tour.
In the wee hours of the morning, lit only by the light of her phone, Cleo (Moreblessing Maturure) takes to the twitter TL to vent her frustrations when Kylie Jenner is named Forbes’s “youngest self-made billionaire”. Self-made?! She ends her thread with #kyliejennerfidead, knife emoji, and so the twitter storm begins.
Cleo’s room takes shape on Keerthi Subramanyam’s huge grey platform reminiscent of a concrete block, with matching grey column hanging overhead. When Cleo steps into her soapbox of white and blue light, we see up into the column above and her tweets and responses are projected onto the outside. This simple design gave depth and weight to the real life and online skirmishes that played out an ever-present sense of impending collapse.
The twittersphere created by sound designer Kim ‘Busty Beatz’ Bowers, lighting designer Kate Baldwin and audio-visual designer Wendy Yu was incredibly effective, complete with animations of GIFs and emojis repeating into oblivion.
The show had me angry, tearful, cheering, and the post-show gave the space to dance and yell about what I’d just seen… The heaviness of being alive somehow balances itself out with a party and a good feed
Jasmine-Lee Jones’s whip-smart writing is heightened by Shari Sebbens and Zindzi Okenyo’s direction, placing Cleo and her best friend Kara (Iolanthe) in direct opposition to each other as they reckon with what it is to be a Black woman in the world. The most hilarious and sinister moments came when Maturure and Iolanthe took turns in acting out the crying laughing emoji, repeating them over and over as the tweets projected above got fouler and fouler.
Maturure and Iolanthe’s chemistry and nuance made for an unmatched performance that ran the full gambit from little girls who just want to be seen, to angry weirdos on the internet looking to doxx someone. Maturure’s commitment to every moment of humour and grief was nothing short of a revelation.
I had the honour of experiencing seven methods on one of their signature ‘Vyb Nyghts’, featuring DJ performances from Mawuli and DJ Call Me Judeeaa (CMJ), and catering from Little Lagos. The Nigerian food, with vegan options, was simple and delicious – perfect for a post-show appetite. The Eternity playhouse foyer was decorated with poetry, ReFlex cards from Flex Mami and a photo spot complete with ring light. And just near the box office, the seven methods travelling bookshop had further readings with titles like Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other.
The show had me angry, tearful, cheering, and the post-show gave the space to dance and yell about what I’d just seen with my partner. The heaviness of being alive somehow balances itself out with a party and a good feed thanks to the work of community engagement specialists Maturure, Bernadette Fam, Henrietta Amevor, Effie Nkrumah, Waniyka Mshila, and Niwa Mbruja. And there’s more in social media land too thanks to Rebka Bayou!
This show was more than a well-made piece of theatre – it’s an entire experience. The creatives involved have made the effort to blur the lines between the stage and reality, so you don’t just sit there, not saying anything.
Brisbane, you’re next. Melbourne – get ready.
Reviewer rating: Rating: 5 out of 5.
seven methods of killing kylie jenner is touring to La Boite Theatre, Brisbane from 24 Feb – 12 March and on to Melbourne from July 2022. Find the world of seven methods on Instagram @7methods.
CREATIVES Playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones Co-Director Zindzi Okenyo Co-Director Shari Sebbens Kara Iolanthe Cleo Moreblessing Maturure Lighting Designer Kate Baldwin Sound Designer Kim ‘Busty Beatz’ Bowers Production Designer Keerthi Subramanyam Voice and Dialect Coach Angela Sullen Stage Manager Ayah Tayeh Audio Visual Designer Wendy Yu Lead Community Engagement Consultant Effie Nkrumah Community Engagement Consultants Henrietta Amevor, Bernadette Fam, Moreblessing Maturure, 2 Sydney Stylists (Niwa Mburuja and Wanyika Mshila) Producer Leila Enright Photos Teniola Komolafe