Mandy Picks A Husband - Canal Cafe - December 2019 - Photo by Jody Christopherson

‘Disarming & engaging candour’: MANDY PICKS A HUSBAND – Canal Cafe Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Stephanie RessortLeave a Comment

Canal Cafe Theatre, London – until 8 December 2019

Trauma, comedy and playfully adapted song lyrics are brought together by Amanda Broomell to create Mandy Picks A Husband, her solo show inspired by her own Instagram experiment. Unafraid to get personal, we journey through Mandy’s romantic history, as Broomell shares her story with a disarming and engaging candour.

On second thoughts ‘romantic’ is the wrong word, with Mandy’s experiences spanning childhood sexual abuse, excessive alcohol consumption, body image issues and self loathing. However, despite some of the weightier subject matter covered, Broomell keeps the tone light-hearted and humorous throughout. A true survivor, she can find the funny in many of her darkest experiences, as well as the many techniques and therapies she has tried to help with her recovery.

Mandy, or in post reinvention times Amanda, is a charming and likeable raconteur. The 60 minutes fly by as she shares her many and varied experiences, taking the opportunity to burst into song on a pretty regular basis. What interests me about both the tone of the piece, and where Amanda seems to be on her own personal journey, is that while she shines a spotlight on her experiences, shadows still obscure the darkest moments.

Creatively this avoids making the show too gruelling or triggering, but it also speaks to the very genuine response survivors can have to traumatic events. It reminds us that while this is an entertaining story, it is based on something personal, true and damaging.

Like so many of us, Mandy is a work-in-progress. This show is NOT a how-to-guide, so for those women out there hoping to walk away with some top husband-hunting tips, this is not the show for you. Broomell refers to it as a ‘traumedy’ and that portmanteau fits this show like a glove. She is using comedy to air and cleanse her trauma. Maybe this will prove more effective than all those years of therapy.  Regardless, it certainly provides an entertaining evening for those audiences who have chosen to join her on this part of her journey.

So does Mandy ultimately pick a husband? Is this a show with a fairytale ending? Well, if you want to find out you need to head to the Canal Cafe Theatre to watch ‘Mandy Picks a Husband’ and you have until Sunday 8th December to do it!

Stephanie Ressort on RssStephanie Ressort on Twitter
Stephanie Ressort
Stephanie is a functioning theatre addict. Her friends might be more worried about her habit, if they didn't benefit from her ninja theatre booking skills. Not a reviewer in the traditional sense, she focuses on the things she's loved, the shows she's excited about, and her tips for finding great, affordable theatre in London. Notorious for her obsession with sitting as close to the stage as possible, it is not surprising that Stephanie's now also exploring if she has what it takes to write for the theatre.
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Stephanie Ressort on RssStephanie Ressort on Twitter
Stephanie Ressort
Stephanie is a functioning theatre addict. Her friends might be more worried about her habit, if they didn't benefit from her ninja theatre booking skills. Not a reviewer in the traditional sense, she focuses on the things she's loved, the shows she's excited about, and her tips for finding great, affordable theatre in London. Notorious for her obsession with sitting as close to the stage as possible, it is not surprising that Stephanie's now also exploring if she has what it takes to write for the theatre.

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