Reviewed – 6th March 2018
“Sheldon’s energetic storytelling is highlighted in her perfect comic timing”
After a run at both The Vaults Festival and Edinburgh Fringe, Naomi Sheldon’s show Good Girl arrives at Trafalgar Studios in time for International Women’s Day (Thursday 8th March) with a performance that explores the formative years of a young teenage girl in the 90s, through to her thirty-year-old self in the present.
From start to finish the show is an exquisite cocktail of hilarity, tragedy and honesty delivered with a lot of punch from an incredibly engaging Sheldon. It is in many ways, a celebration of how heavily young women are influenced by other women frequently present in their lives. Good Girl reflects back to a time pre-smartphone where most of your coming of age knowledge came mainly from your mates, magazines and TV. It shows, upon reflection, how much influence your girlfriends have on you whilst you battle through the minefield of puberty and beyond.
Good Girl cleverly explores the feminine journey of growing up through celebrating, often the smallest, examples of 90s pop culture and simultaneously using relatable anecdotes to delve deeper into the problems one may encounter along the way. The success of the show truly lies in the ability to maintain and build the bond between the audience and Sheldon’s character “GG” with seemingly average memories that are revealed later to carry a darker sentiment than originally anticipated. Each scene is introduced with recognisable intros or riffs which not only maintain the incredible energy throughout the performance, but also highlight the ways in which you rely on music as a teenager as a soundtrack of your struggles and triumphs. This, in combination with the majority of the pop culture references, never once acted as a crutch for the story but more as a warm invitation into GG’s story and to serve as a reminder for how universal many parts of her journey are.
Sheldon’s energetic storytelling is highlighted in her perfect comic timing as well as her skilled demonstration of mime. Although Good Girl deals with a handful of difficult subject matters, it is always presented through a lens of innocence and humour. It is this combination that will encourage seemingly forgotten memories from your teenage years to seep back into your conscience and perhaps allow for a moment of reflection on the ways in which it attributes to the person you are today.
Reviewed by Claire Minnitt
Photography by Felicity Crawshaw
Trafalgar Studios until 31st March