Pros: You will fall in love with London all over again.
Cons: It will pull on your heartstrings with full power.
If I can go and watch performances like this one every Monday, I am 100% sure I will never experience a ‘blue Monday’ again.
Annie Siddons presents the rawest form of an autobiographical performance I have ever seen. In 60 minutes you see a woman’s world crash and burn and, like a phoenix, slowly awaken from the ashes at the end.
Siddons is a playwright and a performer. How (Not) to Live in Suburbia was born of a very difficult part of her life. A single mother must move to Twickenham, far away from her beloved London, and is hounded incessantly by the ‘Walrus of Loneliness’.
The most exciting part of the performance is the mini films — Siddons tells a story and then you see it being projected in the background. However, her stage presence is hard to miss. She delivers an incredibly real and touching performance, where all the emotions she felt in the past are revisited through every single word she utters. Also worth mentioning is Nicki Hobday, who does well in her role as a fictionalised version of Siddons.
You go through the entire emotional journey along with her; moving to suburbia, losing all your friends in the city, looking after two kids, love interests, being rejected by other female groups, the struggles of being a writer, and loneliness — the worst of all. As hefty as all of that may sound, the reality of the situation just brings you closer to Siddons and her story.
In the world that we live in now, where women are standing up for each other and fighting for rights, it is incredibly important to tell your stories. Although it may be a struggle, tell your story, because you never know who may relate to it and who might receive guidance or support in some way through it. I applaud Annie for her bravery to stand in front of an audience and be honest about her story.
With three performance spaces — 150-seat Soho Theatre, 90-seat Soho Upstairs and the cabaret space Soho Downstairs — Soho Theatre is one of the most vibrant venues I have visited so far. The bar on the ground floor is an open space with a lively and buzzy atmosphere. You hear the last call for the performance you are seeing on the speakers and you see everyone move eagerly towards the auditoriums.
How (Not) to Live in Suburbia will remind you why being honest about how you feel is so important for your mental health. Only a few more days until the show completes its run! Do not miss out!
Director: Justin Audibert & Nicki Hobday
Writer: Annie Siddons
Producer: Jen Smethurst
Films directed by: Richard DeDomenici
Box Office: 020 7478 0100
Booking Until: 18 February 2017
Booking Link: http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/how-not-to-live-in-suburbia