Bush Theatre, London – until 4 June 2019
What is it? Urielle Klein-Mekongo’s one woman show that found success at Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 returns to the Bush Theatre for this explosive and raw personal journey into womanhood.
What’s it all about? Yvette is 13 and mad about growing up. She wants to go out with her best friend and have her cherry popped by the fittest boy she knows. But her Mum has other plans for her, her teachers don’t care about her and the girls at school are mean.
Struggling to find meaning in a world so ready to reject her, Yvette finds herself backed into a corner. She feels things that others don’t seem to feel, the noises in her head taking over and forcing her to focus all her energy on calming herself down.
She finds solace in music and her loop pedal is an outlet that is almost a diary, a place that Yvette can truly reveal herself. But inside the life of a young girl there are secrets and sometimes the people you love are the ones that can hurt you most. As Yvette grows with this truth she finds herself in her adult life trying to put together the pieces of an event that shaped her young self.
How did it make me feel? What a powerful show. The things that Klein-Mekongo explores are uncomfortable and truthful, but she executes them with such delicateness and openness it makes the whole piece ignite. Her acting is impeccable, and her innocent nature makes the impact of this story even more powerful. Her musicality shines, and the creations that come out of tapping a microphone is musicianship in one of its purest forms.
The staging is also incredibly clever, and as the piece moves from light to dark in tone, so too does the inventiveness and claustrophobic nature of the space. A story of a survivor, not a victim, it would be too simplistic to call this show and performance “brave”. What it is, is so much more than that, and pulls all the strongest parts from deep within Klein-Mekongo’s soul, telling the story that is hers and nobody else’s.
Where Is It Playing? The Bush Theatre Studio, as usual, provides the perfect space for the intimacy required for this show to really soar. Anything Else? Watching this show is like cutting open a hole inside your chest and letting everything spill out. Almost painful, but also, rejuvenating and spectacular. Yvette will have you roaring with pride at your inner Queen. Go and see it. Amy x Yvette is playing at the Bush Theatre until the 4th of June 2019. If you like my reviews and want to support this blog feel free to buy me a virtual coffee here!