Meet Bri (yes, said like the cheese). Bri is a young woman struggling to navigate her way through adulthood. She’s funny. She’s flirty. At times, she’s painfully (and often relatably) awkward. And she brings the audience on a journey, guiding them through five different parties which she believed changed her life at a time when she was just beginning to rebuild it.
After successful runs at both the Edinburgh Fringe and the Pleasance Theatre, writer/performer Jodie Irvine brings Gobby to the Vaults Festival. The show’s previous success is no surprise, for Gobby proves a piece of masterful storytelling, excellent comedic timing, and above all emotional vulnerability that feels neither forced or overplayed. Such a feat is hard to achieve, and though much of the work’s strength lies in its comedy, the revelation that Bri is recovering from a toxic relationship is skilfully woven into the narrative – leaving room for a powerful message to slip in.
Irvine shows great promise as both a performer and a writer, portraying a range of different characters (with different accents) to draw the audience in. She does so with ease, warmth and familiarity – the end result leaves you feeling as though you know Bri. Gobby is structured like a conversation with the audience, allowing us to be part of the story too.
The minimalistic use of both set and props does not spoil the quality of the performance – in fact, it only enhances it. Within the play, balloons, party hats and party poppers are transformed – used to represent a telephone, a flirty partygoer and even dough!
At heart, Gobby is a tale of self-discovery in the modern age, observing how we deal with heartache, the dangerous side effects of blame and guilt, and the art of self-awareness. Whilst plays that detail how to find yourself can often feel inauthentic, Irvine succeeds where many others do not, making a compelling piece of theatre that’s not to be missed.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.