• By Elaine C
  • |
  • 2nd Feb 2020
  • |
  • London Fringe

Actor Joann Condon from BBC'S Little Britain fame is fed up with being put into a box. Ever since she was a child she has tried cramming herself into the boxes that other people have said or thought she belongs in. What is quickly discovered through her performance is that she has continued this habit into adulthood.

Alpha mums is a new female-led theatre company set up by Joann Condon and Leonie Rachel as they lift the lid on what it actually feels like to be a woman in her late 40s to early '50s who is definitely not ready to be boxed up.

Condon explains to you how she very often gets boxed into the 'fat' category when she talks to people about her acting career. However, while you watch Little Boxes you see a charismatic, funny and extremely entertaining actor. Who quite frankly doesn't need a box as being herself out of the box is definitely where she belongs.

As an impressionable twelve-year-old her life-changing icon first appeared in front of her on "Top of the Pops" on a Thursday night in the form of the groundbreaking band of a generation. The band in question was Boy George and Culture Club. As a teenager from that generation, they were one of my favourite bands too and I could relate to exactly how she had felt as they stood up and told us that we should be whoever we chose to be.

Little Boxes delves deep into the psyche box of the mind. Where she explores the box surrounding her as the adult parent. This ran alongside closing the box on her Mum. Who sadly died two months before she had her son. Sadly neither of the two boxes can ever be open together for her to add joint memories into.

The concept behind this production makes you start to look at people and your own life in the form of where you have been pigeonholed. Which box or category have you been put into? It's one of those plays where you go in, without knowing what to expect and come out realising you have just watched something that challenges your own way of thinking and how you look at people who are around you.

There is a time and a place for boxes to be used. Keep shoes in them, photographs and keepsakes but categorizing people into them is definitely not one of those purposes. My advice is to stay away from those boxes.

Four Stars

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