Review: The Drowned Girl @ Chapter
30th September 2015
With Blud recently under her belt, Kelly Jones is big business in writing in Wales now. Her one woman show, The Drowned Girl is a project close to her heart and to anyone who has ever had an imagination or lost someone dear to them.
Kelly, in this piece, is underemployed at Asda, stacking selves and fretting life away. In processing the grief of losing her grandmother, she recalls fond memories. Her nan would tell her that she was a mermaid, after almost drowning in a swimming pool.
In reliving this new-found knowledge, Kelly's fairytale filter brings forth a hilarious and often touching monologue. She thrills in the escape of underwater scenes as her supermarket aisle fills with water and frees the dolphins from the cans of tuna.
Like with Blud, London sizzles through the piece. A vivid depiction of a deceased nan's possessions cascading into a skip, as people pick and choose from them, is beyond upsetting and empathetic. Her love of corn flakes is also evident as the stage is covered in them and other aquatic bric a brac.
Although falling into a fantasy world can be dangerous, here for a character it remains a balm of catharsis. You can feel the general honesty in her words, near teary-eyed at one point. Chris Young also gives more trance-like and subtle sound scales to compliment the mood.
A nice touch was Noah, a cousin she hates, who realises through a Polly Pocket (the toy, not what you were thinking) that he too wants to be a princess. Kelly's role shifts here as she realises he could be the sort of "different" she discovered in herself as a lesbian. The potential kidnapping in this scene is forgotten for the more tender real human moments.
Where will Kelly take us next time in her writing?
A thrill ride of emotion, humour and grief.
Rating: 4 stars
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Photo Credit: Chapter Website (http://www.chapter.org/drownedgirl)