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The Perfect Body, PQA Venues @Riddle’s Court (Q2) – Review

A manic pseudo-celebrity is rehearsing a television show where she teaches the audience how to obtain the perfect body. From the evils of eating meat to the dangers of processed foods, nothing is allowed into her rigorous diet. During a practical demonstration she purports the benefits of an electrical juicer for the consumption of fruit and vegetables. These being the only "healthy" foods, and even more so if fallen naturally from the tree, to avoid hurting a living being. This clashes visually with a scene where she violently chops an apple with a huge knife. There follows an elongated…

Summary

Rating

Good

A dark comedy about the self-obsessed culture of achieving the perfect body. Tasty but hard to digest.

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A manic pseudo-celebrity is rehearsing a television show where she teaches the audience how to obtain the perfect body. From the evils of eating meat to the dangers of processed foods, nothing is allowed into her rigorous diet.

During a practical demonstration she purports the benefits of an electrical juicer for the consumption of fruit and vegetables. These being the only “healthy” foods, and even more so if fallen naturally from the tree, to avoid hurting a living being. This clashes visually with a scene where she violently chops an apple with a huge knife.

There follows an elongated graphic excursion on bodily functions, being the first symptom of a perfectly functioning body. The appropriate positions to assume, the colour and texture they should be, all are discussed at length, to the detriment of the most sensitive stomachs.

As she spits out words at the speed of light, a few cracks begin to show on her mental sanity. We start doubting the reasons behind her dysfunctional behaviour; a childhood jealousy for her sister and the social pressures of being picture-perfect emerge.

Classical ballet routines and a delirium about being the best, the most beautiful, the most splendid, mingle in an exhausting downward spiral that leads to her complete meltdown. As she never stops talking nor gesticulating, this is a gripping and dramatic tour de force which drains the onlookers as much as it does her.

Lavinia Savignoni is the mastermind behind this self-penned dark satire. A poignant criticism of the current obsession for the perfect body, which entails punishing health regimes whilst denying eating as a pleasurable activity. Barely pausing for almost an hour, she only slows down in the last five minutes, when the lights are lowered, and the message is delivered.

The Perfect Body is exhilarating, thought-provoking and well-meaning, but its verbal downpour can be quite a lot to take. Her dystopic monologue represents all the power and beauty of the Italian theatrical tradition but might be quite intimidating to an international audience.

Written, Directed and Performed by: Lavinia Savignoni
Translated by: Marco Quaglia
Produced by: La Loba Productions / Rhymes with Purple
Box Office: +44 (0)131 226 0000
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/perfect-body
Booking Until: 25 August 2019

About Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.