Nina Simone is one of the greatest music icons of the last century, producing songs as soulful as her voice. Her music has resonated with and inspired many people in both their art and their everyday lives.
The tempo bubbles about, giving the piece a real atmosphere of excitement
Lottie Rice plays a young woman trying to figure her life out. When she was young, she and her grandmother were inseparable. They would sit, write stories and listen to records together. Most important of these being the records of Nina Simone. Now it is years later and her grandmother has long past away; Lottie slips into the mundanity of life, not really thinking about any greater meaning than paying rent and getting drunk. That is until the music comes back to her.
The exceptionally talented Lottie Rice not only does an outstanding job performing at the helm of this one woman journey, she also wrote the show. The script is beautiful and lyrical, expressly written in poetic style. Exactly like You is theatre for the poetry slam generation. The rhyming structure and essential wit reminds of a contemporary Shakespeare without the long list of characters. The tempo bubbles about, giving the piece a real atmosphere of excitement. Rice’s words and energy exerts a firm control over the audience holding them in her world with ease.
Although the piece is simple it is joyful and heart-warming, even at the darker moments of the story – an absolute joy to witness. Needless to say, Simone’s songs on slavery and race relations have to be somewhat dulled down to fit alongside Rice’s struggles with having a mundane job - an understandable alteration but one that veers close to doing Simone an injustice. Still, Rice deserves a massive amount of credit for her work in creating this beautifully, excited and poetic piece of theatre. Its life-affirming energy will leave you very happy to have seen it.