How to Avoid Making an Entrance of Yourself

Dot Howard’s entrance doesn’t come until right at the end of the show, which is exactly what you’d expect to happen in a show entitled How to Avoid Making an Entrance of Yourself. Purportedly addressing self-doubt and the anxiety of live performance, we’re made to sit through nearly an hour of the duo zipping themselves into bags and squirming about on stage, paintbrushes being chucked at us and a vague monologue on love.

Dot remains off stage for the majority of the piece, her disembodied voice accompanied by Signalong, a kind of sign language interpretation which is a manifestation of Howard’s fear of revealing herself. When she does appear on stage she ties her hair in front of her face or wears a paper bag over her head. The point is obvious and over-laboured; it takes real courage to put yourself out there on the stage as a performer but this idea alone is not enough to sustain a show of this length.

Beyond this comment on performer anxieties there’s no narrative, no structure and little to hold your interest as the minutes slowly drag by. Howard could well be a talented performer but there’s simply no way to tell from this performance: she never gives herself the opportunity to demonstrate her acting skills, spending most of her time in that bag or secluded off stage.

Towards the end of the show Howard decides to break things up with a drawing session. Howard sprawls across a Pilates ball in a skin-tight red jumpsuit and we’re handed charcoal and paper. It actually comes as quite a relief to have a little break from the performance, although it does feel like this was a convenient way to fill up time. In fact, the whole show could be described as filler; Howard’s show fails to impress on content and entertainment value and, to be honest, I can’t think of any reason why you’d want to go and see it.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

An absurd account of a performance career spent in abject fear of the audience. Tonight Matthew I am going to be making an entrance and heading straight for the exit.

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets