Lucy, Lucy and Lucy Barfield

In a melancholic solo show about growing up and facing the inevitable realisation that there is no Narnia, only the real world, we accompany Lucy Grace on an exploration of the ‘real’ Lucy Pevensie: CS Lewis’s goddaughter, Lucy Barfield.

The show is not only a skilful piece of documentary drama - it is a worthwhile endeavour.

Dressed in dungarees and surrounded by a chest of children’s toys and a tottering pile of boxes papered in pages from books, Grace cuts a childish figure as she embarks upon her quest. However, the show is anything but, even if the short sections in which Grace disrupts her monologues to play with the toys feel gratingly contrived. Using accounts of her own research, archival letters and slightly digressive interview recordings, Grace creates a picture of a life that has been forgotten. With subtlety and artfulness, Grace examines how the act of documentation itself can become driven by the desire to fit real life into a fairytale mould, when in fact, real life is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.

With this intricately crafted and thought-provoking focus it is therefore surprising that the show is not more moving. Grace’s slightly rigid performance style paired with a script that is, at times, a little dull, inhibits the show’s power and poignancy. While it is good that Grace avoids the pitfalls she herself highlights by not forcing the story into a particular shape, it feels like the show hasn't quite capitalised on how interesting its subject matter is.

That said, the nuanced approach Grace takes as she tackles the complex tensions at the show’s core gives Lucy, Lucy and Lucy a real sense of purpose. In shedding light on Lucy Barfield, a very real Daughter of Eve whose life has been either glossed over or simplified beyond recognition, the show is not only a skilful piece of documentary drama - it is a worthwhile endeavour. 

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The Blurb

Narnia doesn't exist. Lucy’s just realised. She's 26. She’s still reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. If the adventures of heroine Lucy Pevensie can’t help, then perhaps CS Lewis’s dedication to his god-daughter, Lucy Barfield, holds the key to another wardrobe. Following 2015's Garden 'quietly revolutionary' **** (Scotsman) Lucy Grace searches for the lives of Lucy: past, present and fantasy. Unpicking a life less documented Lucy, Lucy and Lucy Barfield, is an intimate show about holding on to adventure, falling through the cracks and finding your own way back.

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