by Laura Kressly
In 2015, four black women were turned away from the nightclub DSTRKT for being ‘too black’. It temporarily drew attention to systemic racism, but black women still encounter racism everywhere. In schools, work places, social situations and in public spaces, black women must conform to standards of behaviour and appearance that are dictated by white people.
By Laura Kressly
Marnie and Jen are sisters and the best of friends. They share a flat, dating stories and countless nights out. There isn’t anything they don’t know about each other – until Marnie casually mentions a doctor’s appointment she has coming up.
by guest critic Gregory Forrest
A young drug-addicted porn star is looking for someone to kill and eat him. A clean-freak older man is looking for a good, tasty fantasy. So what happens to the carving knife? It’s a strong set up, and when cannibalistic fetishism is first introduced to Consumables – effectively delayed in Matthew Kyne Baskott’s’s script – the topic undoubtedly sticks in your throat.
by guest critic Lara Alier
Uber, happy hour, Tinder, late night cheesy chips are all part of the vocabulary of a Londoner’s life. So are two complete strangers waking up next to each other. Usually one of them will remember, and even find a blurred picture of you both at 4 am surrounded by empty glasses. Yet neither has any memories of the night before.
Jess, Dana and Ruth are living it up in a London flatshare. Fresh out of uni, they’re drinking and partying like it’s their job and generally loving life. But their blissful bubble is burst when Jess comes home with her dad in tow after her mum kicked him out of the house. As the night wears on and Jim joins in with his daughter and her flatmates’ antics, ugly truths are revealed in each of the four characters and there’s no going back.
Photography © Tim Smyth
Maybe the witch in Snow White isn’t that bad. Or, maybe her badness is justified, like she had a traumatic childhood or suffers from a mental illness. Siobhan McMillan proposes just that: Shivvers realizes she’s past her prime and, with insecurity taking over rational thought, she decides to hunt down the young woman who dethroned her from her position as the fairest in the land. This quest takes shape as a solo performance told in the third person, like a fairytale. McMillan regularly interjects with contemporary references and using sarcastic humour to great advantage, makes a strong comment on women’s insecurity about aging.
The use of third person narration is one of the more interesting features of Mirrors; it distances McMillan from the audience and herself. Her physicality and energy cannot be denied as she embodies the characters she simultaneously describes. The audience is told her story but has plenty to watch, and a liberal use of sound and vocal effects create a dynamic aural landscape, even if a touch too loud at times.
The use of an occasional live feed adds another visual layer by which the audience scrutinises Shivvers, but a backlight interferes. The intention shows good instinct by director Jesse Raiment. The set isn’t particularly dyanmic with its black flats and mirrors, save for the ornate frame mounted on a table centre stage – a symbol of modern obsession with female appearance and its dominance in Shivver’s life.
This feminist solo show is an excellent display of performance storytelling and a witty comment on modern life as a woman. Not just about aging, it also looks at female competition, the need to be desired and the perils of dating. With the opportunity of a longer run, Mirrors could upgrade its tech and design to create a more polished production matching its content, creating a piece great for touring small to mid-scale venues.
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