Review On Crack Whore, Bulimic, Girl-Next-Door

Raymond-Kym Suttle


To be honest, I arrived a little late, so I missed the first 10 minutes. As a result it took me a little while to get into the swing of things and for a while I wasn't sure what the prevailing tone of the show was intended to be. It started off being played as quite broad comedy and then slowly morphed into something else. Which isn't a bad thing, it's nice to be eased into serious topics of discussion but I felt like I wanted a bit more depth in a lot of the scenes which sometimes seemed way too short (but then I'm a writer who has a tendency to be verbose, so I'm happy to admit that it may just be a stylistic preference).

I thought the cast was good, though occasionally I felt that they played to the audience a bit too much which meant that they weren't playing the scenes with each other as much as I would have liked. I absolutely loved the device of splitting the central character into three people but I sometimes felt they weren't consistent in their points of view - I would have preferred them to have more clearly defined voices rather than being so easily interchangeable (by which I mean, I would have preferred them to have specific agendas they were each sticking too but often they said lines, split between three actresses for equanimity rather than divided according to their specific attitude to a subject or person).

Clearly the women in the audience related very strongly to a story/theme that many have experienced and it's always great when an audience feels that it's being represented on stage. As a man I could still relate to aspects of the story that encompassed bullying, belonging/a desire to be accepted/fit in. I was moved by the relationship issues towards the end of the play and that was, for me, the strongest part of the play, particularly as it offered me some insight as to why someone who has someone who loves them, might sabotage that love. That was very moving.

I wish that the stage hadn't felt quite so cluttered - my preference would have been to create more space centre stage by placing the screens asymmetrically - one upstage right or left and the other, downstage right or left, and maybe lost the seesaw which was an interesting touch but not essential to the plot and used up a lot of the playing space - that being said, they used it a lot, and it's a great image for the balancing act that I know so many people trying to lose weight seem to feel - the seesaw of losing and gaining weight.

I did enjoy the show but I left feeling unsatisfied and I'm still not sure why - most probably because I really wanted greater depth of insight that would have come from each facet of the three versions of the character being clearer about how they each experience the world. I look forward to discussing this more with the production team in person, if they want to!

The bulk of the audience loved the show and I'm aware I'm being guilty of the tendency to think "how would I have directed this" as I was watching, which can get in the way of simply enjoying a show.