Grounded

Grounded is written, performed and directed by Linda McDade. Perhaps it is the fact she has taken on all three of the important creative roles that she has lost perspective on this show. It is supposed to be a girl’s journey through life, shown only from her bedroom. But how much of her life we are witnessing isn’t made clear.

Most of the show consists of McDade playing with her toy monkey, including one particularly alarming scene where she goes in to snog it

According to her Leonardo Di Caprio wall calendar, it is just a couple of months, but given that the show opens with her playing princesses with her stuffed monkey and closes with her stumbling home drunk, this seems like a surprisingly short amount of time for such a turnaround.

Halfway through the performance I begin to wonder whether McDade has ever actually been a young girl, or whether she has somehow completely forgotten what it was like. Otherwise how else can she justify this cliché-ridden, emotionless representation of what growing up is like for a young woman?

The character cries under her bed sheets, protesting that nobody understands her; she says that all she wants is a boyfriend to share popcorn with; she is scared of starting high school. While these may be things that some young women feel, there is no emotional nuance in this piece whatsoever, no justification for these feelings. Perhaps it is the lacklustre acting that makes it so unbelievable, but the material itself is certainly lacking any depth – and, actually, substance.

The script is almost non-existent: most of the show consists of McDade playing with her toy monkey (including one particularly alarming scene where she goes in to snog it, but the less said about that, the better) and pouting and sighing at varied intervals. There is no insight and no originality.

The best thing I can say about this show is that it is only half an hour long – and you get a free lollipop. But all in all, it made me feel exactly how I felt about being grounded when I was a child: it’s boring and pointless. 

Reviews by Marni Appleton

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The Blurb

A young girl's journey through life seen only from her bedroom. Join her imaginative adventures around her room and follow her as she grows into adolescence; discovering boys, ambition and life beyond until inevitably leaving it all behind.

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