Mike Delamont’s Mama’s Boy was a great example of autobiographical storytelling. He has a good natural delivery and the comic timing which enhances Scottish Drag Queen helps this kind of narrative as well. It was a loving, respectful, realistic, painful story about growing up with an alcoholic.
James and Jamesy’s 2 for Tea was a delight. I’d missed this playful British duo last year and now I can see why everyone was talking about them.
Beau and Aero was another physical-theatre escape, very well paced so that one turn or game led directly to the next one. They had particularly creative explorations of balloons, and some impressive acrobatic stunts.
Both 2 For Tea and Beau and Aero incorporated some audience interaction, and they chose people who participated with initiative and humour, especially the young girl who played a cardiologist and gave her thoughts on life in 2 For Tea, and the man who bopped them with balloons in Beau and Aero.
The other solo performance I saw yesterday was Naked Ladies, by Thea Fitz-James. After the show, the performer acknowledged that a lot of intense material had been touched on, and invited audience members who had responses to connect with her later. I appreciated the invitation to process – it reminded me of the similar invitation at the end of a performance in a funeral home a couple of years ago, acknowledging discomfort and giving people a chance not to be alone with their thoughts. I didn’t have anything to say at the time, and I’m not sure I do yet. The performance jumped around to different moods and concepts, and the performer kept reminding us that all stories are edited, all memories curated. The parts that made me most uncomfortable – and I mean that in a good way – were the parts where she was reading from her childhood diary about trying not to masturbate. That bothered me in ways that seeing the performer naked didn’t.