Writer: Amy Tobias
Director: Roxy Cook
Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty
Amy Tobias and Roxy Cook know what an audience want in a theatre show. It begins with a warning that there will be some, but not too much, audience participation and includes some instructions on what do do with the “experiment bags” the audience is given – just so we know exactly what’s expected of us. Then Amy dives into an hour’s worth of personal, personable, sparkly, insightful, fun and super funny one-woman show about her life between the ages of 13 and 16. Ideal.
Naturally inquisitive, maybe because she “feels things deeply” like her mum suggests, the 13-year-old Amy is a big fan of science (as is present day Amy). Taking us through her crush on the hairy-armed physics teacher Mr. Murray (and other subsequent teacher passions), her quest to find a logic or rationale behind the world and its inhabitants, early teenage love and friendship dramas, a desire to be better at religion and more, we’re treated to a whizzing tour of mid-90s to mid-00s pop as well (Britney V Cristina all over again).
Shifting brightly between present day Amy, the narrator, and the different versions of herself through the teenage years gives her the chance for multiple asides, jokes, meaningful looks to the audience and tangents. It’s all just fully charming.
Underneath it all, the need to understand and figure out the world around her as a growing girl subject to the usual friendship and romantic stresses is engaging as well. It takes the bad with the good too. When it comes to the dark point of a married man (her babysitting client) laying his hand on her knee at 16 it’s handled with grace and takes a momentary break from the bounce of the show to highlight that as smart and curious about how the world works some 16-year-olds can seem, there’s going to be a lot that defy comprehension.
Balanced between logic and emotion, science and free thought there’s an interesting though not fully formed philosophy. With Roxy Cook as director, Amy Tobias has created a very sweet and relatable look into the mind of a girl growing up. Popping with humour, it’s an opportunity to learn and self-reflect, as well as laugh. Oh, and catch up on some smashing tunes you may not have heard for years.
Runs until 25 February 2018.