At first glance, ‘Here’s Connie’ appears to be just another late-twenties angsty life-hasn’t-turned-out-like-I-planned-it show. Fortunately, about five minutes into the play, the drama takes a left-turn and we begin the journey to find out what is actually causing Connie’s angst. As the show unfolds it explores themes such as war, PTSD, mental-health, aging and grief, and we find that there’s a lot more to Connie’s malaise than meets the eye.
The show is the creation of Carrie-Ann Wilde, its writer and sole actress. The play is mostly a monologue narrated by Connie, although occasionally Wilde assumes different personalities including her brother, grandmother and a nursing patient, Lizzie. For one person (and especially one so young) Wilde is a remarkably self-possessed actress. She takes on the various roles and themes of her show with confidence and skill, looking out calmly over the audience.
As well-performed as the show is, however, it would not be nearly so poignant were it not also well-written. Through the various monologues and personas we get to see first-hand how PTSD, mental illness and loss can affect different people. As the characters talk about their relationship to Connie we also get a much more more complete understanding of what she has seen, what she has experienced, and how these events have formed her outlook on life.
What makes the show truly remarkable, however, is its attitude. Unlike many plays of this style, which are jaded and pessimistic, ‘Here’s Connie’ is not fatalistic. While the show explores the very real problems one can encounter on the bumpy road of life, it is much more focused on learning how to deal with them. Although there are some minor faults in the play - excessive sexuality, overdone drama and a tendency to stereotype - they become negligible in this play that is well written and well acted.