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Me and My Doll, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose (Nip) – Review

Secret rom-com addicted Kate (Dru Stephenson) is considered by everyone a cold-hearted bitch. Her work colleagues despise her lack of human skills. Comfortable with this tough-cookie reputation and unconcerned by what others think of her, she'd never admit that something in her life might not be as she'd like it to. Her mocking friends have gifted her an inflatable doll, the joke being that it is the only thing able to keep her company. When she's denied a much sought-after promotion in favour of a friend, she suddenly breaks down, and the doll that she'd kept on the sofa…

Summary

Rating

Good

A headstrong woman in her late thirties is gifted an inflatable doll by her friends and decides to keep it. When this comes alive she learns to renegotiate her feelings.

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Secret rom-com addicted Kate (Dru Stephenson) is considered by everyone a cold-hearted bitch. Her work colleagues despise her lack of human skills. Comfortable with this tough-cookie reputation and unconcerned by what others think of her, she’d never admit that something in her life might not be as she’d like it to. Her mocking friends have gifted her an inflatable doll, the joke being that it is the only thing able to keep her company. When she’s denied a much sought-after promotion in favour of a friend, she suddenly breaks down, and the doll that she’d kept on the sofa really becomes her only confidant.

In an unpredictable turn of fate, the doll suddenly comes alive, clinging to Kate in a near obsessive way. In a pathetic attempt to become the perfect boyfriend, Doll (George Attwell Gerhards) tries to learn what love is by watching the entire collection of Kate’s romantic films. These scenes are amongst the funniest proposed by the talented actor. His interpretation of the “inflatable being” is quite remarkable, combining plastic movement with eloquent facial expressions.

Kate is the archetypical career-oriented, single female in her late 30s. Committed to always look untouchable, stuck in a job that makes her unhappy, whilst striving for an intimacy she doesn’t allow herself to achieve. Eventually, her blow-up companion finds ways to challenge her deepest feelings, pushing her to embrace the most vulnerable sides of herself. The finale on a cliff-hanger leaves us with the same crucial doubts that she experiences throughout.

Even though it has great potential to become a brilliant comedy, Me and My Doll struggles to take off, with an initial fifteen minutes which are lacklustre when compared to the rest. We can’t help but notice that the character of Doll is written much better than the protagonist herself. A few loose ends in this rather original storyline could do with a little tying up before its very welcome return onto the stage.

Written and Directed by: Lucy Bird
Producer: Paperback Theatre
Booking Information: This show has completed its current run.

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.