Venue: Assembly George Square Studios
Star Rating: ****
Reviewer: Ana Hine
Victoria Bianchi and Jess Brodie’s show I’ll Have What She’s Having is an easy-to-sympathise-with look at life in your mid-to-late twenties.
Based on their own experiences, the show is a character study of two women who are both wondering if they’ve made the right choices in life – whether you’re married with kids or trying to score a paid internship in publishing.
As a twenty-something year old myself this show resonated deeply with me and I was glad to see a defence of those who don’t appear to have everything figured out yet. Brodie’s character is struggling to establish herself in her career, and the way she explains how demoralising it is to get that first entry-level professional job in our current economic climate really hit home, especially when she says: “You spend all this time competing with everybody and just end up depressed, it’s so scary to put yourself out there.”
In comparison Bianchi’s character explores post-natal depression, marriage dissatisfaction, and ‘having it all’ in an incredibly honest way. In one scene she pins up posters detailing her most private thoughts and feelings about motherhood and then takes them down again without referencing them at all – which I found very powerful. It reminded me of the sadder posts on forums such as Mumsnet, where women try to ask for help while at the same time feeling like they can’t quite come out and say that they’re unhappy.
Which is not to say the play is depressing; it’s not at all! There are lots of laughs and the chemistry between Bianchi and Brodie is fantastic. Every so often they break into a short dance, which has little to do with anything but seems to offer both performers a small respite.
A highlight was when they wrote on their bodies – with liquid eyeliner – their ‘statistics’. That is, their bra cup size and waist measurements, but also the number of Instagram followers and Facebook friends they have. It was an insightful bit of performance art, implying that their social media profiles were as much part of their identity as their own bodies.
This show may not mean as much to those who aren’t in exactly the same boat, but if you’re in your mid-twenties and scared that everyone else has their shit figured out apart from you then I highly recommend you see this show. You’ll definitely feel better afterwards. And kind of craving a banana.
Aug 6-12, 14-19, 21-27, 12:15, £9.00
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