Review: Everything I See I Swallow – Abbie McGrath

Show: Everything I See I Swallow
Venue: Summerhall
Star rating: *****
Reviewer: Abbie McGrath

Redefining the definition of beauty within 2019 feminism, Olivia (Maisy Taylor) describes losing her sense of self through the constant objectification and beauty standards that have been set from a young age. From the moment of entering the room, we find an intimate setting where Taylor’s intricate aerial work is impressively presented, awaiting an audience.

Everything I See I Swallow is a story of a mother attempting to come to terms with her daughter owning her sexuality, forcing her to face her own fear over the freedom that embracing sexuality can bring – in its many forms and expressions. Throughout, Tasmin Shasha’s character constantly struggles to understand her child, twisting and contorting herself to try and relate but finding the path terrifyingly confusing, full of miscommunication, and leading to a debate of their conflicting views towards feminism.

Olivia talks the audience through her feelings of repression that have stemmed from objectification and has found an outlet, a freeing artform, that is not yet widely understood: shibari. Addressing the idea of how a woman can escape the feelings brought on from objectification by owning her own body, Olivia shows she can perform and enjoy her art without caring whether the viewer sexualises the image, as it is not for them – it is a liberating way for the woman to be comfortable in herself.

We witness an older woman’s path to challenging the stigma that surrounds female sexuality, where she gains her own freedom while attempting to understand her daughter’s. A woman who has lived through a different age of feminism, where gaining respect and control had been an ongoing battle throughout her life, only to find it has ultimately restricted her freedom to be the empowered woman she identifies as.

At the heart of the show, the ongoing debate we join is that of the generational shift in our views towards feminism and sexuality – the changing definition of an empowered woman, challenging the expectations placed on women to allow themselves to identify as a feminist. Both Shasha and Taylor present an incredibly talented aerial performance, gracefully choreographed to show the unique set of struggles a mother-daughter relationship faces when clashing ideas of feminism are forced to coincide. A beautiful performance to watch, Everything I See I Swallow provokes a discussion of feminism that welcomes all women to reconsider their own idea of what it means to be empowered in 2019.

Everything I See I Swallow: tickets available here
21-25 August
6pm (1 hour)

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