Vines, Theatre N16

Metalmouth Theatre’s monologue is very hot take on being a woman, a feminist and wondering if there is more to life. Alex Critoph plays a young woman hiding from the world. Friends are a necessity and she has taken to wearing a headscarf because it might give her privacy and respect.

This 30-minute piece, directed by Leah Fogo, is very up to date looking at the women’s march and what it means to identify as female in 21st century Britain. It is also a cold hard look at how distressing being a millennial can be, it is a subject that will dominate a lot of plays but this show looks at a character who decides to find herself spiritually through an ayahuasca ceremony.

Despite its, short,  running time it is a very vivid look at hallucination and extremes people will go to to find themselves. Critoph’s unnamed woman takes an extreme and expensive (how can her character working in a restaurant have £300 spare) but I was drawn to Critoph’s performance and it was enhanced by Ella Simkins makeup.

There were glimpses of other stories, her relationship with her manager Rob (purely platonic?) and hints of an abusive childhood but whilst the retreat scene was beautifully done, I particularly enjoyed the lighting in the scene where Critoph meets with a healer, Lola. It is just a shame the experience we have with Critoph isn’t a bit longer. It feels like there was a lot more the character had to say and the audience is shuffled out before we even get a chance to get to know what it might be.It touches upon being quite an emotionally draining with moments of liberation.

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