The Girl With Glitter In Her Eye presented by OPIA Collective.
What is it? The Girl With Glitter in Her Eye is a new play from playwright Masha Kevinova about two friends struggling with learning how to deal with trauma.
What is it all about?
In an unspecified city we meet Phil in her struggling cafe and Helen who is wrestling with the pressure the art world is putting on her to draw on her ‘background’.
How did it make me feel?
Plays about trauma have become the norm. Sometimes it feels like a play is not good unless it draws from some immensely traumatic experience in somebody’s life. Artists all over are wringing themselves out for a tough upbringing or horrible night or destitute future to impress the people they are supposed to impress. The Girl With Glitter In Her Eye is a pitch perfect dissection of this phenomena. The play centres mainly around Helen (Modupe Salu) and Phil (Anna Mackay) and how their friendship is stressed by both of their unwillingness to deal with their own trauma and their willingness to mine each other's. There is not much more to say without ruining the plot but Mackay plays Phil with a fierce righteousness that has you absolutely feeling for her by the end despite some faux-pas and cold touches at the start and Salu plays Helen with a real tenderness and defiance that has you squirming along in every awkward situation she is put in. The real stand out was performances from Naomi Gardener in the chorus. She steals every scene she is in without leaving her fellow performer stranded and brings an incredible humour to the most cringe-worthy characters. Having on stage music played by the very talented Ben Ramsden was a nice touch and added an element of live-ness to the tight script. I would however have liked to have the actors mic’d as it was sometimes difficult to make them out over the music. Ramsden may have been a more exciting presence if he was somehow worked in to the performance itself, he does at some points feel like the token white man in a story that is about anything but white men. The decision to give the Art Director the power to reveal Phil’s trauma is one worth questioning. Phil is clearly not ready to have it spoken about and having her whisper it on stage only makes the audience speculate more on what it could be and then it is brushed over by a character that has no influence in her life. This is maybe a disservice to Phil and her relationship with her own trauma and I would like to see that further explored in the script.
Masha Kevinova is a very promising writer who is choosing to work with very promising artists. I am extremely excited to see what OPIA Collective do next.
The Girl With Glitter In Her Eye is playing at the Bunker Theatre until the 27th January 2020.
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