Harley and Me presented by Tripped Theatre Company
What is it?
A microscopic view of fictional DC Comics character Harley Quinn, and the way in which popular culture sugar coats domestic abuse.
What is it all about?
Harley Quinn (Danielle Williams) has been captured. Left by her lover 'J' (three guesses what that stands for) in a bank vault after one of their heists goes awry, Harley finds herself in an examination room with a Psychologist (Sharon Duffy) who is able to break down some of the barriers that Harley has built in her mind. The pair quarrel, and at times even bond, but Harley's overwhelming confidence that she will be busted out of this prison facility imminently, drives the Doctor to a professional limit that she has never had to push herself to before.
How did it make me feel?
Written by Lucy Walters, this unique take on, an often over-sexualised character is completely refreshing and often, challenging in all the right ways. Williams gives a dynamite performance as the over-confident and eccentric Harley Quinn, and brings a new tenderness and uncovering of self to this colourful character. Opposite her is the equally fantastic Sharon Duffy as the poised and not always professional, Doctor. The push and pull that we witness between these two women is engaging and at times, nerve wracking. The pair utilize what it is to be a woman who does not understand another, with a special kind of madness that can only be reserved for a production like this.
Georgia Harris, the director or the show, has an eye for detail, using punching red lights to signify the presence of J in the space, which is a clever choice that puts the women at the helm of this story, and removes the power of men.
The use of pop music throughout, usually during a montage illustrating the physical abuse Quinn is subject to regularly, is powerful in reminding us how easily we accept the glorifying and at times, beauty of violence in popular culture today.
Where was it playing?
The Lion and Unicorn have this one in the round, dotting the outside of the space with playing cards, a reminder that although J may not be present, he is never far away.
A completely separate story to the one we know and (sadly) love of Harley Quinn, this show is a brilliant example of what happens when women take the lead on their own stories.
Harley and Me is playing at The Lion and Unicorn until the 26th October 2019.
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