I am a lucky cow sometimes. I entered the lottery for day tickets to go and see Phoebe Waller-Bridge in her sold-out run at Wyndhams Theatre and I only went and ‘won’ the chance to buy a pair of tickets at £15. It gets better, I got to the theatre to pick them up and the seats were row A in the stalls pretty much the middle of the front row. So yeah I’m a lucky cow.
That’s the backstory, of how I got to see it. Here are my thoughts on actually seeing the one-woman show.
I am now of an age where the words 70 minutes no interval are music to my ears, it means its a short production and I’ll be home in time for cocoa and an early night.
The play is literally an hour of PWB doing the original play that the first series expands upon. She spends most of the performance on a chair with minimal support no set, sparse-yet-effective lighting design and various sound cues.
The Wyndhams Theatre is fairly small and quite intimate but still, the difficulty of a one-hander is that you have to carry that performance to make sure that everyone is engaged, not just those in the stalls but those at the back of the circle. Luckily she is an engaging performer, where the tv version expands on a lot of ideas, everything is distilled in the play. She uses posture and gesture to convey the sometimes making things overt.
It is powerful too, because it is a woman’s story, told by a woman and it is a visceral story too. One of betrayal, love and dysfunction. Waller-Bridge’s performance is great, she has the power to take the audience on this journey with her and yes there are laughs but there’s this strong vein of pathos that just pervades the piece which actually makes something more disturbing than the TV show.