After being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Catherine and Anita has taken on a new form. As of 28th May this is in film format as Zebra Girl, released across the UK. Throbbing with trauma, violence, mental illness and abuse, there is much to unpack with this feature length, and certainly not for those that prefer the light-hearted. Starring Sarah Roy and Tom Cullen, Zebra Girl is a psychological thriller with more depth than humour.
Zebra Girl stars Tom Cullen (Knightfall, Downton Abbey) and Jade Anouka (Cleaning Up, His Dark Materials) alongside Sarah Roy (Catherine and Anita, Glue). The film is written by New York writer Derek Ahonen (The Transcendents, Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side), based on his play Catherine and Anita which was performed by Roy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to rave reviews. Directed by Stephanie Zari, who is known for Being Keegan and marigolds, the performances from the cast are expectedly good, particular Sarah, as we begin to see Catherine realising the effects of her past on her current.
Catherine’s seemingly perfect rural life is turned upside down after she discovers her husband is hiding a dark secret that leads her to parallel actions from her past. Cue Anita, Catherine’s enigmatic best friend who shows up to help dispose of the body. As Catherine and Anita converse and reminisce about the past whilst chopping up and bagging up, their intimately intertwined and tortured past rears its ugly head. Reality blurs as Catherine’s tragic past is slowly revealed along with a secret she’s hiding to fight for the future. This somewhat gory psychological thriller is weighted with so much substance as we draw to a close on this film, and it’s far removed from the film we initially think we are sitting down to.
A psychological thriller with a bold streak of pitch-black humour that explores the vicious cycle of abuse and mental illness, there is a great deal going on with this feature. Disturbing but with remnants of pulp, Zebra Girl has unexpected moments, but consistently good performances from all. Some of the allegories are interesting, with cinematography unsurprising for a film of this genre, and for that it plays to our expectations. However, the realised becomes overburdened with meaning and for that it surpasses those, rendering it a more interesting plot and feature.
Zebra Girl will be released in cinemas in the UK from 28th May