Saving Britney: Prologue

When thrust into the circus, it can never be easy to tame the lions. No words can be more true for the princess of pop, Britney Spears, who throughout this one-woman show, teaches us to dissect the tragedy of her troubled censorship.

Delivers a true masterclass of what it means to be part of the Britney Army.

A few months after the release of the New York Times' documentary Framing Britney Spears, the ongoing movement of #FreeBritney continued to grow and secure itself in the public image and highlight the effects of her censorship and personal struggles throughout her career. Shocking revelations were brought to light, fans rallied together for their superstar and this production company, Fake Escape channeled in on this movement to deliver Saving Britney: The Prologue.

Set on a live video feed within the walls of a Britney Spears' Facebook group, we are introduced to Jean (Sheeran Roushbaiani), a modern-day Nancy Drew with a passion for all things Britney and pre-2010. A quirky and loveable character, we soon become fully invested with Jean’s conspiracy theories regarding her idol, as she narrates the ongoing tragedies and parallels of their lives. Roushbaiani delivers a true masterclass of what it means to be part of the Britney Army. This is infused with the desire to educate the audience concerning her beloved celebrity.

Jean discusses the many hurdles Britney has encountered throughout her career – made evident from the pinboard shrine on the wall – from the censorship battle with her father to the treatment from her record company, Jive Records. Continuing with the star’s struggles, Jean even goes as far as to compare Britney with the Mona Lisa – a face known by all, but a story that is still an enigma. This clever imagery clearly highlights that regardless of how well we think we know a person, we can never appreciate what they are going through.

Moments of fun resonate throughout the production, with helpful nudges to iconic nineties and early noughties such as ice cream Chewits; the infamous Titanic ending scene and having a cheeky Smirnoff Ice while dancing along to your CD player. In contrast, the story dives into the hidden messages of misogyny; internet trolling and suicide. In essence, this show has it all, and the writers of the production (David Shopland and Roushbaiani) are definitely ones to keep an eye out for.

As the title suggests, this is just the beginning of the story: one which we will definitely be returning to for the next installment. This show is not to be missed and should continue to promote the legacy of our beloved princess of pop. Saving Britney: The Prologue delivers a passionate homage to justice and truth that left me eating every delivered word. A definite hidden gem against the norm.

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Reviews by Gareth Williams

Southwark Playhouse

John & Jen

★★★★★
Old Red Lion Theatre Pub

Saving Britney: Prologue

★★★★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

On national TV aged seven, a superstar by sixteen and committed to a mental institution by the age of 25. Millennials like Jean, idolised Britney Spears. Saving Britney sees the iconic star from Jean’s perspective; why the Princess of Pop influenced her life and how the connections they shared led Jean to an unbelievable moment of self-discovery.

Inspired by the #FreeBritney movement, it's hilarious and heartbreaking; a look at celebrity obsession, sexuality and growing up in the early noughties.

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