Reviewed – 31st July 2019
“a bold and exciting work that holds an important message of self-acceptance”
‘Algorithms’, both written and performed by Sadie Clark and directed by Madelaine Moore, is a one woman show following Brooke, a newly single, bisexual woman as she approaches her thirtieth birthday.
The play covers a variety of events during the weeks nearing Brooke’s birthday. It becomes clear that things are not going the way she wants them to when her girlfriend doesn’t return home from drinks at the local pub. When she does return, Brooke is brutally told that the relationship simply does not work, and she is brokenhearted. As the story goes on, she signs up for the dating website that she works for to meet new people so as to distract both from the breakup and the dreaded party her mother is throwing for her birthday.
There’s an impressive change in Brooke from the beginning of the play to the end, as she comes to terms with herself and begins to accept that she isn’t always the problem in relationships and work environments. An important moment shared between Brooke and her mother at the end of the play sets alight a new aspiration in the young woman – ‘you be you’. Sadie Clark portrays her beautifully, with her emotions being so sincere when Brooke is at her lowest points, giving a realistic view on how many women deal with such events. She has the audience roaring with laughter as she prances and screams, but also has them drawn in and emotional as she dressed herself in a ball gown.
The stage design is perfect for the performance, and every little detail is superb. There was golden boxes that matched the golden shoes Brooke wears throughout the play, and there were balloons in purple, pink and blue, which describe her sexuality to a very fine detail. At the back of the stage is a clothes hanger with a dress bag hanging on it, which hides a beautiful gown until it was time for Brooke to wear it. However, there was very little use of these objects throughout the play, which allowed all attention to be on the actress.
Music was used for comic purposes as Brooke danced across the stage to songs that had lyrics explaining her situation perfectly. Sadie had the audience participating and clapping along with the music as they exited the venue.
‘Algorithms’ is a bold and exciting work that holds an important message of self-acceptance, especially for older women who believe they are not achieving what they should be at their age and emphasises the importance of accepting yourself and others around you in your daily lives.
Reviewed by Sara McPhail
Pleasance Courtyard until 26th August as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019