Beverley - A One Woman Show | TimeOut review
Beverley - Tristan Bates Theatre (Fringe)
Although its described on the flyer as a 'one-woman oddity', Natasha Langridge's pert monologue isn't that unusual. Like many other plays about women, it depicts a twentysomething longing for love, respect and a wonderful kitchen, who inevitably dates the wrong boy and suffers disproportionately for it.
Where it does differ from the average feminist play is in lewd detail. 'Beverley' is about as close to pornography as theatre am get without breaking any obscenity laws.
It opens with Beverley fantasising about being the only girl in a room full of ogling, horny men; over the next 50 minutes we're taken through the procedure of her Saturday Wank Morning, given an alarmingly precise description of the state of her boyfriend's penis and treated to a hilarious blind date story involving porn films. Langridge's sense of humour is scabrous, acerbic and unrelenting, and her grittily realistic attitude to love and sex is refreshingly removed from the absurd slop that passes for women's erotic fiction.
Not that she isn't prone to a spot of Barbara Cartland-style romance — Beverley's longings for a man to share her life and thoughts with, and for a lover with whom sex is all 'starlight and thunderbolts', are a little too indulgent to be completely convincing. However. Valerie Frances plays the part with gusto and such self-possession that you almost feel as though you're entering this woman's psyche. Add perfect comic timing and a wonderful set of expressions to convey her horror at the absurdities of men and you have an eminently watchable performance of a sharp play.
Review by Maddy Costa