Meet Millie. She is exploring who she is and trying to conquer the constant battles that women have to face, like periods (or lack-of in this instance, until the age of fifteen), boyfriends and so-called friendships.
A strong one woman show
This work in progress piece is a strong one woman show that not only made the audience laugh through a common connection with a lot of the themes on offer, but also made us think about our own respective journeys in self discovery as we watched Millie go on her own.
There were things that could be reworked slightly to make it run more smoothly – like being more confident in the material performed and written, and sightlines were great for those who near the front, but for those at the back of the auditorium it was more difficult to see what was going on due to scenes staged on the floor. Despite this – even if you couldn't see – you could feel that she was at rock bottom thanks to the music that was adapted to every mood possible.
One very clever technique that was used during the show was using famous and not-so-famous pseudonyms to protect the identities of the people who influenced Millie's life. The two that stuck out was her grandmother being the kind, caring and encouraging Mrs Doubtfire (without the bad housework) and an ex boyfriend who was Captain Jack Sparrow (say no more). Using these familiar character names, we immediately got a picture of who these people were and got a glimpse into the mind of Millie at those moments in time.
Some of the themes explored, like being a tomboy and contraception issues, were highlighted in such a way that even if you didn't resonate with them, you still were entertained. It's always tricky in a show like this to get the audience on board from the word go, but the way that Millie kept her upbeat energy going, as well as her self depricating attitude, kept the audience engaged. The big highlight to demonstrate her skill as a comedienne was when she came to explore the effects of different types of contraception using the game of bingo as a way to get the audience interacting by various envelopes stuck on the back of the chairs. By encouraging them to read out sometimes tricky words for comic effect in a random order, we got further insights into other stages of her life as well as the effects most women encounter on this type of discovery.
There Was A Little Girl has great potential to succeed going forward. By making just simple tweaks, this will be a show that is a force to be reckoned with.