In PurSUEt

A show about a Sue Perkins stan who has a life-size cardboard cut-out of the former Great British Bake Off presenter and an unwavering belief that she “will be glad to have somebody like me as a girlfriend, thank you very much.” It just sounds amazing and, oh boy, it is.

Talented writing, with raw emotion, it was by far one of the best one-woman shows I’ve seen.

Sat in a therapist’s office, an unnamed woman takes the audience on a personal journey, describing how she’s done everything from blagging her way into backstage areas and even spending an evening pretending she's Sandi Toksvig’s cousin all in a desperate bid to pursue her one true love, Sue.

This is, however, much more than a play about a woman maniacally obsessed with Sue Perkins, it’s also a poignant tragicomedy about alcoholism. Based on Eleanor Higgins’ real life experiences, this powerful piece of theatre takes a heartfelt dive into gritty mental health issues and the use of questionable self-care methods (like drinking so much you wake up in an alley covered in someone else's urine).

It’s a really challenging story told in such a fascinating and gripping way, it will have you tearing up one minute and chuckling away the next.

Having described itself as ‘Fleabag meets Miranda’, In PurSUEt gives itself a lot to live up to and somewhat sets the audience expectations higher than the actual execution allowed for. Due to what felt like a few close crossovers with the aforementioned shows, some parts felt lacking in total uniqueness. Most notably, the emphatic “I’m fine..I’m fine” line which felt strikingly reminiscent of Fleabag. While the protagonist’s self reflection, realisation and ultimate recovery also felt slightly underdeveloped and in need of more expansion. At only 45 minutes long, there is just not enough time to provide the detail and depth needed for the complexity of this storyline and to portray the difficult road toward recovery.

A much longer version would provide the time this show needs to fully develop what is already an incredible and important story and properly open up the conversation surrounding substance misuse.

Overall, Eleanor Higgins’ delivery was razor sharp and engaging throughout. Talented writing, with raw emotion, it was by far one of the best one-woman shows I’ve seen.

Reviews by Hannah Crofts

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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Inspired by true events: a passionate Sue Perkins Superfan, sent to a therapist to deal with her drinking, relays her adventures pursuing Sue. Fleabag meets Miranda in this fierce, heartfelt new LGBT comedy/drama. Follow our heroines impressive swagger skills, drinking habits and coping mechanisms in an age of social media, #MeToo and Brexit… In PurSUEt is a play with unexpected truth, nuance and hope. A searingly fresh new show that leaves the audience in no doubt: it is by facing our demons, we overcome them. 'Step aside Fleabag. Hello InPurSUEt!' ***** (Pink Elephant Arts). Simply Brilliant!" ***** (RadioGaga.com).

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