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Words: Natasha Chanse

Georgie Grier’s sunny, Barbie-land fantasy is so sweet, you’ll leave the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose with toothache. Grier plays the doe-eyed Denver, who spends most of the performance sat lonesome on a bench, lost in daydreams of a leading man to fulfil her romantic comedy aspirations. The premise of the show is that these daydreams are played out in Denver’s podcast, and the audience are invited to witness the ‘live’ recording of an episode as well as her exclusive behind the scenes content.

The only locomotive force in the performance comes from Grier’s outstanding emotional range that will give you whiplash time and time again. The podcast argues that ‘we should’ve seen it coming’ is the unspoken tagline to all romantic comedies, but what you won’t see coming is the sharp plot twist and sudden downpour of tears.

Denver’s picture-perfect smile strains as her grasp upon the Barbie-land fantasy lessens, causing the show to lose all structure and become a chaotic whirlpool. The audience too is lost by the writing, as although the script is dense it says little. The dual narrative of the podcast versus Denver’s reality may aim to reinforce the fictitious nature of our rom-com daydreams, but instead overcrowds the show.

Life and fiction, past traumas and future hopes; the show collapses boundaries, yet this is not clear from the script, and you can only witness this in the nuances of Grier’s skilled performance. Nevertheless, the play’s emotional impact is impressively maximalist considering the minimalist set up of this one-woman show.

Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Snug
18-27 Aug


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