The Loneliest Girl in the World

Smashing Mirrors Theatre are shining a spotlight on those usually left in the shadows through their heart-breaking play The Loneliest Girl in the World, written and directed by Elizabeth Godber. In this poignant performance, shy yet talented musician Fiona, played by Grace Christiansen, nervously begins her first year of university. The lifestyle of drinking and partying embraced by her flatmates May and Adam, played by Martha Godber and Joe Hall, simply isn’t her cup of tea and, fading rapidly out of student life, she makes plans to disappear completely. The calamitous turn of events that follows certainly gets her noticed, but the fame becomes too much to handle when her flatmates decide to cash in.

A haunting and emotive piece of theatre with powerful relevance to today.

Although Godber’s writing tracks a single character’s descent into isolation, this script is cleverly written to deliver painful universality. We are reminded that Fiona could be anyone we know as Godber hits home with how easy it is for someone to slip away. The show is consistently emotive whilst gently criticising the way confidence and extroversion make up such a strong part of the university experience.

Despite her quiet temperament, Fiona remains firmly at the centre of the performance and the audience can truly sympathise with her. Christiansen gives a sensitive portrayal of anxiety that never feels sensationalised of exaggerated. Like all three cast members, she sings beautifully during the many heartfelt songs of the performance. May and Adam are equally well-rounded characters, with Hall leaving plenty of room for humour in Adam’s awkwardness. However, I would have liked them to become nastier as it dawns that Fiona’s disappearance might benefit them. Another missed opportunity for more variety in performance are the aspects of narration that all three characters dip into. Voice and character changes very little as they deliver radio broadcasts and news bulletins reporting on events.

Fiona’s situation could happen to anyone, and the show’s devastating end makes this fact impossible to ignore. Smashing Mirrors have created a haunting and emotive piece of theatre with powerful relevance to today. Their show cannot fail to stir. 

Reviews by Carla van der Sluijs

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The Blurb

One Saturday night, university student Fiona leaves her halls and doesn’t come back. Now, three of her course mates try to understand exactly what happened. From the award-winning writer of Fringe 2016 hit Ruby and the Vinyl comes a new play about youth, mistakes and freshers.