No Offence Theatre’s Things That Do Not C(o)unt is a bold look at female sexuality, body positivity and Nastazja Somers’ homeland Poland through her own story and that of the generations before her.
Much like Good Girl I found myself relating to this, perhaps too much. Somers, like myself, was also an early developer. Periods at 9 with breasts to follow soon after she questions when female sexuality can begin and whether the concept of firsts is outdated and nonsensical when women have such wide-ranging experiences.
BJ McNeil and Somers (following on from Torn Apart (dissolution)) have created an experimental work, with video from Michael John Peck and Rebecca Crankshaw’s voiceover providing a haunting backdrop to Somer’s solid performance as woman with simultaneous rage and pride about her body and sexuality, with her mother’s damning comment about being “a little bit anorexic” not the source of any issues, but certainly a contribution.
It is also not a show that focuses on men’s contribution to body image or sexuality, taking a supporting role to what is ultimately a love story to all those women who had to deal with all the factors of being women, living in an often occupied country and how that history and eventual freedom (Somers was born in 1989 when the wall fell) has shaped Somers into the woman she is today and a timely reminder, with Brexit upcoming, that theatre from other cultures and languages is as important as ever. It often turns out they aren’t that different from us after all.