After You – Soho Theatre, London

Reviewer: Mike Wells

Writer and Director: Hannah Norris

After You is an hour-long conversation between a mother and her daughter about the events that have brought them to where they are today.

Engaging with the audience while they take their seats, they immediately set the tone for the evening. It’s an open conversation between them, with us, in a relaxed, fun, and safe environment.

Hannah’s role in the show is an ardent narrator, routinely teasing from her mums’ memories the events upon which the show is based. She’s the constant thread which holds the show together, confident and assured. Angela on the other hand begins the show shy, and nervous, but by the end blooms into a tap-dancing, Zumba-loving, born performer.

The pair of them are wonderful together and they share their experiences with a warmth and openness that’s a delight to watch.

At times funny and at others sad, the two of them lay bare their past for all to see. From falling in love to falling out of it, giving birth to new life, and losing loved ones, there is little they don’t share. Constantly treading that line between open confidence and crippling vulnerability, they give an audience everything they have and that’s eminently watchable.

One important aspect of the show is the positivity that radiates from every tale and metaphor. Regardless of the event they recall, there comes from it an optimism and a general sense of carpe diem, which is genuinely infectious.

Mother-daughter combinations on stage are a very rare sight indeed, but while that is a great selling point, and something they mention themselves in the show, there is much more to it than that.

And the show’s finale… we won’t spoil the surprise, but suffice to say it’s a wonderful way to sum up what the show is all about – reflecting on the past, but not living in it.

Runs until 22 February 2020

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The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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