Vault Festival, London – until 9 February 2020
Guest reviewer: Zahid Fayyaz
Fresh from a well-received run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this is the story of two years of change in one woman’s life, written and performed by actor Jodie Irvine. It’s told through the lens of five parties within that time period.
Going through these particular five parties from Bri’s life, she explains how she got her nickname ‘Gobby’, and how she is coping in the wake of a broadly sketched, but clearly abusive relationship. Talking also of the ‘wolves’, which she has dubbed her former friends who she feels have abandoned her, Irvine poignantly uses a great deal of humour to address the social awkwardness and loneliness of 21st-century living. She covers issues of abandonment and loneliness with sensitivity, but they aren’t cloying. It’s a physical performance, with Irvine jumping and moving frenetically all over the stage, keeping the attention of the crowd for the entire duration.
A stage full of party poppers, balloons and hats is an arresting visual background to a wonderfully funny and perceptive monologue. There is no shortage of props used throughout the show, but there is nothing gratuitous, and it adds a great deal to the spectator’s enjoyment. There are a number of wonderful jokes and situations with loud laughter reverberating throughout the venue at regular intervals. This is well worth seeking out before the end of its run. Hopefully, it’s a show with a long life going forwards.