Fitted out in an elegant tuxedo, in an echo of Marlene Dietrich's revolutionary turn in 1930’s Morocco, Kate O’Donnell is every inch the smooth Old Hollywood dame. In
A feat of storytelling executed with considerable sophistication.
The show is a visually sumptuous cabaret (special mention must be made to stunning wigs and styling by Grace Oni Smith), in which O’Donnell recalls her past through song, dance, and speech for an intimate hour. O’Donnell’s openness is arresting, and her presence as the night’s illustrious hostess warm and welcoming. She carries an incredibly challenging show with charisma and ease, leaving the audience rapt from the start. The narrative weaves from humorous to exasperated, wistful to irreverent, with O’Donnell displaying a mastery of comedic and dramatic performance. One of the show’s highlights is the hilarious ‘transgina monologue’ segment, which is one of the most engaging uses of audience participation I’ve seen thus far.
O’Donnell seems aware of the complexities of a diverse Fringe audience, and You’ve Changed is a show which undoubtedly contains many moments of truth and affirmation for trans theatregoers, whilst also remaining patiently open to a demographic perhaps less familiar with trans issues and experience. Honest, hilarious and poignant, You’ve Changed is a feat of storytelling executed with considerable sophistication.