Packed into a very small room on Chambers Street, Almost Adult certainly didn’t win the venue lottery, but once settled into your seat Charlotte Anne-Tilley’s protagonist Hope makes you quickly forget all your hang-ups.
Engaging and filled with laugh-out-loud moments, as funny as it is bittersweet
Opening with her post-college move from bleak Macclesfield to the bright lights of London, Hope is all optimism about her soon-to-be roommate Jenna, who she met on SpareRoom, and tapping her Oyster card. Things go from strength to strength when she lands a job dancing in the windows at Dino World, a totally ridiculous dinosaur-themed bar in Shoreditch. I can honestly say I never thought I’d be watching someone dance to WAP by Cardi B in a fuzzy dinosaur onesie but here I am.
With regular quips about how easy adulting is in her new thriving London life, Hope is as endearing as she is totally naïve, until she isn’t. Things take a turn when her manager comes onto her in a nightclub, and she realises that the world of work and adulting isn’t as fantastic as it seems.
With some great moments of character comedy, Almost Adult invited me back into the sparkling optimism of my teenage self also eager to leave my respective sleepy northern town. Hope’s delusion doesn’t feel misplaced or cringy, however. For me, it struck the perfect balance between being witty and totally on the money. As a young woman, Hope’s desires and aspirations for the modern world felt very resonant and made me reflect back on how crushing reality is when that post-school bubble is burst.
It was great to see attention being drawn to the experiences of not only young women in the workplace but references to the disgrace that are zero-hours contracts and the lack of legal and social protection for casual staff in the hospitality sector. I’m sure for any members of the audience who have worked in these types of roles Hope’s remarks about how great it is to work seven days a week just to cover rent spoke all too loudly. Engaging and filled with laugh-out-loud moments, Almost Adult is as funny as it is bittersweet.