In a world where ‘fat’ is a dirty word,
Thompson has a genuine charm and likability, which immediately puts the audience on her side.
Thompson has a genuine charm and likability, which immediately puts the audience on her side. She greets us in an outfit of tiny balloons, which she pops as she lists all the things she is not: ‘I am not a liquid, so am not spilling out of my clothes and, likewise, have not been poured into this top.’ She tells us what this show is not: it is not about eating disorders, body positivity, how men feel about their bodies; it does not aim to tell others how to feel about their bodies. Female bodies and body image is a fraught topic, which has been discussed ad nauseum and Thompson is aware of all that goes before her.
What makes this production stand out from every other discussion of bodies, fat, and body image is Thompson’s confronting and disarming honesty about her body and her conflicting feelings regarding it. She charts her struggle between what seem two impossible extremes: getting rid of her fat, or learning to love it. As she tells her story, she plays with a lot of food. This is a messy topic and Thompson makes a mess whilst exploring it. The images of Thompson with her various foods are by turn hilarious, strange, beautiful and extremely disturbing.
A lot of action occurred on the floor and, unfortunately, despite the rake of the audience, it was often difficult to see what was going on from my 3rd row seat. Overall, however, this is a very well put together show. Thompson may not come to any definite conclusions regarding her body and her fat, but the questions she asks and the way she asks them are thought-provoking and challenging.