Pros: Cathartically brilliant!
Cons: The only downside would be missing out on this performance.
Following a winning streak at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017, Good Girl finally comes to London’s West End. Written and performed by Naomi Sheldon, this debut play is unmissable. Trafalgar Studios is in the heart of London, a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square. There are two studio spaces at basement level and a conjoining bar. I made my way into Studio 2 and settled into my cosy seat.
A circular podium is set centre stage and as the lights are dimmed and silence falls on the room, a woman enters the stage space and gets on to the podium. Dressed in denim dungarees, this is GG. She doesn’t introduce herself, but jumps straight in to a recalling memories of a childhood swimming gala. We quickly learn that even back then, at a very young age, GG was overcome with emotion during the last leg of a race where the responsibility lay on her to finish the race for her team. Instead of swimming to end the race, GG dives to the bottom of the pool, adopts a Buddha-like position to calm herself down and tells her teammates that she experienced a cramp.
GG continues to relate memories of growing up in the ’90s with her friends. We learn about their obsession with music, exploring their femininity and a bit of witchcraft. But we also learn that one of the things GG finds difficult is living. Her random bursts of emotion are unexplained and not shared by her friends. The only solution she finds is to make way for numbness and disengage herself from all feelings in order to be ‘a good girl’.
Naomi Sheldon brings an exceptional performance to the stage in a deeply authentic play that some may find eerily relatable. As you watch the performance, you see Naomi transform herself into a character who moves through the different stages of growing up. Her mesmerising portrayal of the vulnerable GG is one that won’t let you take your eyes off her.
With comedic and honest storytelling, Good Girl wins in every way possible, and chimes with the current global discussion of what it means to be a woman. It also leaves you with a melancholic hope that all will be okay in the end.
Written and Performed By: Naomi Sheldon
Director: Matt Peover
Producer: Debbie Hicks
Booking Link: http://tidd.ly/82e6737c
Box Office: 0844 871 7615
Booking Until: 31 March 2018