Narcissist In The Mirror presented by Nothing To Declare
What is it?
An interesting one woman show that combines spoken word and direct address to describe the tumultuous career progression of a West End Actress.
What's it all about?
Rosie Fleeshman sits in her old-Hollywood style dressing room and laments about her past. From growing up with a mother she could never quite impress, to drama school and the eternal struggle of waiting for that call to come, the one that will change your career forever, and the disappointment when it never does.
Mixing in spoken word and monologues that are direct and melodic, Fleeshman explores the pressures and experiences of women in the arts and paints a dark cloud over the external ideas about women in the industry. We are taken to a heightened place to be brought back down again, understanding that things are not always as they seem.
How did it make me feel?
The concept here is strong. Fleeshman is a sound performer and her moments of poetry are filled with passion and rage. The show however can be confusing, and I found myself not being able to empathise with this character, who seemingly has it all, but can only focus on her career before it blossomed. And although this makes sense for the shows finale, the payoff doesn't feel worth it as an audience member. The character changed direction and tune often, and her words did not seem to connect fully with the world she was building. Her conversation with her imaginary friend throughout was also difficult to keep up with, and felt almost unnecessary and distracting from the story we were focusing on. Definitely a work in progress but one that should continue to be developed as it had some honest, lovely moments.
A mixed bag, this show has the potential to be a real commentary on women in the arts and the way in which mental health is dealt with within the industry.
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