Call Me Vicky at Pleasance Theatre
When Martin (Matt Greenwood) takes best friend Debbie (Nicola Bland) on a night out to Soho’s premier drag club, The Golden Girl, little does he know how life-changing this event will be. Confident he was born in the wrong body, and with a biological identity he recognises as unequivocally female, Martin sets out to seek his mother Sylvie’s (Wendi Peters) approval before beginning the surgical procedure of transitioning into a woman – who from now on he wishes everyone to know as “Vicky”.
Written by sisters Nicola and Stacey Bland, Call Me Vicky tells the true-life story of the pair’s trans godmother, and the adversity the then-youngster had been made to face when coming to terms with who she really felt she was. Set in 1980s London, at a time when the very ideas of an androgynous individual being normalised into society were few and far between, the show illustrates the sacrifices and lengthy hardships that Vicky endured throughout her early life, from violence to a prison sentence, in order to gain public acceptance. With a stellar performance from Greenwood, whose powerful and gut-wrenching interpretation of an oppressed individual who longs to be “seen” and not just heard singlehandedly carries the show on to greater heights, Call Me Vicky acquires the momentum it needs to engage its spectators right through to the very end of its 70-minute runtime.
Martha Hegarty’s simplistic yet effective set design is also worthy of mention. With its neon signage and circular, flyer-filled tables, around which are sat some members of the audience, the show obtains a somewhat play-within-a-play status, blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality, and enhancing its factual stamp. Vicky wishes for Debbie’s unborn children to grow up knowing their godmother for all that she is and always was at heart – a biological woman. Fast forward 30 years, and this is exactly what she got.
Photo: Fabio Santos
Call Me Vicky is at Pleasance Theatre from 19th February until 9th March 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.