Give Up! Start Over! (In the darkest of times I look to Richard Nixon for hope)

Jessica Almasy is compulsive viewing, much like the material she delivers in her solo performance, Give Up! Start Over! (In the darkest of times I look to Richard Nixon for hope).

This is a paranoid and schizophrenic look at reality, and in particular the reality that is presented through television. The action takes place, seemingly, in a bleak New York apartment dressed only with a television, fridge and a chair. Almasy gives a powerfully physical performance as she slips in and out of a multitude of split personalities. Her tale is unravelled like peeling an onion, and each new layer reveals more about her obsessive character. In the end, a final twist allows the audience to fully understand this complex individual.

The darkly comic script combines Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, Reality TV confessionals, Richard Nixon's White House transcripts and new writing. The performance is passionate and irresistible, and the delivery is ingenious. The clever use of video enhances rather than detracts, and is absolutely within the context of the subject matter rather than as a gimmicky afterthought.

Reviews by Sue Denham

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C Main, 3-29 August. 12.15pm (1 hour)