Using Nabokov’s 1955 Lolita as a springboard, Hannah Nixon’s new play Lola asks questions of our era and the threats it poses to young women. This Lola however, born out of the 21st century and not the mid-twentieth, gets to answer back. And she doesn’t just answer, she roars.

There is no doubt that Nabokov’s novel was and still is controversial, but mercifully Lola does not go out of its way to be. Lola, played with sass in spades by Gemma Barnett, has been aged up to 18, which in the context of Nixon’s play, offers a debate as oppose to a witch-hunt against the male sex. As Jez the un-PC male English teacher makes moves to protect her from an ogling classmate, he is met with the force of his rule-abiding female colleague, Olivia, who has her own views on what the real problem is. Who truly has her best interests at heart? And who poses the real danger?

This review first published on The Play’s The Thing UK, read review in full here… 

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