Bridge Theatre, London – until 17 October 2020
As part of the one-person play series which has reopened the Bridge Theatre, Quarter Life Crisis brings the story of Alicia to the stage as she approaches her 26th birthday.
Yolanda Mercy’s play is from 2017, and she brings Nigerian traditions, technological trends and grime into the persona of Alicia. She navigates one-night stands, battles with her mother, ignores the dad who abandoned her as a child and honours the heritage of her grandparents.
Considering her position as someone in “the first generation to call this place home”, she asks her Siri for advice, dances with glee at Tinder matches, yet still has a deep sense of the cultural tradition which her daily life clearly contradicts.
The Bridge has removed a number of seats to assist with social distancing, and given the audience staggered arrival times and a link to an app for ordering drinks. Everything is handled well and it feels very safe.
The show itself, directed by Jade Lewis, has some audience interaction, but the current restrictions are faced with humour and add an additional element to this tale of a woman watching her peers “grow up”.
Quarter Life Crisis is short, thoughtful, and made me think about the complexity of families, father-daughter relationships, and the weight of expectation we place on young shoulders still navigating that steep path out of childhood.