Buzzing is the story of Julie, a 50-something recent divorcee who is wanting to discover herself and “find meaning”. A one-woman play by Debbie Bird, Julie’s story is told chronologically and discusses her going to erotica parties, exploring vibrators, going on Tinder and the exciting world of casual sex.
Could have benefitted with some more structure to bring us into Julie's world.
It’s not often that you see the sexuality of older women represented in the arts, which was refreshing to see, especially given the context of learning to love yourself. However, I felt that Buzzing missed the mark a little. Although Bird’s performance was good, the story didn’t fully resonate with me and at times felt a little awkward and disjointed. Parts of the story seem to jump around, making it confusing as to what was happening. Despite this, there is a clear narrative and story arc detailing Julie’s journey to empowerment and happiness, which is evident by the end of the show.
I did enjoy the display of vibrators and sex toys laid out on the table, which the audience is greeted with as they enter the room. We rarely see such an open display of female sexuality. It’s awkward when Julie picks them up one by one and turns them on tentatively, even engaging with the audience to show one of them how it feels when you hold it against your nose.
Julie goes through a list of men she wants to have sex with, and ticks them off one by one - however, she misses some out and the storytelling feels forced and unrealistic. It seems more like a stream of consciousness than a story, which works sometimes but Buzzing really could have benefitted with some more structure to bring us into Julie's world.
Although Bird is clearly a talented actress, I felt Buzzing could’ve been improved with the addition of some background music or recordings, as well as more structure, to really bring the story to life. Without this it fell a little flat, which is a shame, since it has potential.