Jessie Cave: Sunrise at Soho Theatre Online
Sunrise, Jessie Cave’s third sold-out solo show, debuted in 2018 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A filmed version was devised in April 2021 at Soho Theatre to an audience of only her sister. The piece is described as dating after a complex breakup, but it reaches far beyond that. Cave is pushing forwards with a quirky blend of confessional comedy and DIY performance art, and she demonstrates enormous skill for it. Remarkably, her stamina only grows as the show progresses, regardless of the frightful situations brought to the surface through her agile dialogue, which soon becomes addictive. Sunrise juggles putting oneself out there for new romance whilst in the midst of heartbreak, against co-parenting, wellbeing and a career; it’s no wonder she barely stops for breath.
As Cave attempts to make sense of complex emotions, without falling behind in practical responsibilities like admin and childcare, she’s also torn by temptation to skip the cosmopolitan avenue of self-reinvention post-breakup, and instead wallow in stalking her ex’s new hook-ups on Instagram. It’s like she’s being pulled every which way by her pigtail plaits. The fact that every scenario is drawn from real life renders the outcome increasingly compelling. There’s a mother, but there’s also a girl broken by a conflict between rage for the man who left her, and tenderness, dropped like petals halfway through gasping anecdotes. Less tender are the bombs of honesty landing with no prior preparation. But there’s no time to stop and process – she keeps on rolling; the kids will be waking up soon and there’s so much more to be said and done. Its emotionally and literally complex, as she cuts no corners in her self-questioning chase for balance and confidence.
The show is pillared by Cave’s complete consistency: not once does she dip or slip, nor are any parts excessively indulgent. She possesses all the attributes required to grip an audience, alone, for an hour, but the actress is utterly, uniquely endearing. Her genuineness radiates – in the backdrop compiled of her children’s’ doodles and sewn by her mother, and the disclaimer to Harry Potter fans halfway through (at which point most are likely still in disbelief that this is the same girl who obsessed over Ron Weasley as Lavender Brown in the film). The pleasure in watching comes from the sensation that Cave isn’t performing, rather communicating to fellow humans with an infectious vibrancy that lightens the load of tricky dynamics universally experienced. Sunrise is crammed with wonderful, tactile creativity – yet another beautiful offering from Jessie Cave.
Sunrise is at available to stream via Soho Theatre On Demand from 27th May 2021. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.