(No) Leaves On My Precious Self – 2 Stars

Precious

(No) Leaves On My Precious Self

Drayton Arms Theatre

Reviewed – 1st July 2018

★★

“has the potential to be hugely relatable, poignant and empowering”

 

From the moment she was a tree in the school play, Kate Fabray knew that she wanted to perform, to recreate this “God-like, uncrushable tree feeling”, to inhabit again and again “the magical state of becoming someone else.” But this is not an easy industry and this performance unpacks its trials, its unforgiving nature and its impact on Fabray’s own sense of self-worth through dance, musical theatre and monologue.

The piece is beautifully written, the language frequently verging on poetic, and many important and valid comments are made regarding an industry that is so frequently glamourised unrealistically by the media. This is Fabray’s playwriting debut and her writing talent is clear and unquestionable, her use of language delicate, tender and playful.

The final realisation, that in fact it is all worth it, is accompanied by a narrative of self-empowerment and a resolution to no longer put her self worth into the hands of others. Certainly an admirable ethos to end on and more time spent exploring this would ensure that the piece is more balanced. In its current form it risks coming across as a bit of a pity demanding rant. A more balanced approach would ensure that Fabray’s discussion of the industry translates as well as it deserves to, because it certainly has the potential to be hugely relatable, poignant and empowering.

One of Fabray’s main complaints about the industry, is that this is not an industry where talent or hard work is any guarantee of success. Luck and nepotism famously play huge parts. Unfortunately, this point is somewhat undermined by her own inability. She is vocally weak, frequently out of tune and vehemently overacting, gesturing to the sky with arms wide at multiple points. Her dancing and her acting are stronger than her singing, but ultimately the strength of this piece lies in its writing rather than its performance.

This is a beautiful piece of writing that certainly makes some valid points about the industry but the weakness of its execution undermines much of the piece’s substance.

 

Reviewed by Amelia Brown

 


(No) Leaves On My Precious Self

Drayton Arms Theatre

 

Related
Previously reviewed at this venue
Are There Female Gorillas? | ★★★★ | April 2018
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee | ★★★★ | May 2018

 

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