Coming soon: My picks from London's fringe theatre
Review: Family fun, friction and fear in Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman, Royal Court

Review: Phina Oruche's Identity Crisis, Ovalhouse

Phina Oruche - Identity Crisis (1)Phina Oruche is telling us about the flat she lived in on the Aylesbury Estate in South London that, years after she left, was used to portray a drugs den in a BBC drama. At the time she was working as a model, leaving her less than glamourous home for glitzy photo shoots. It illustrates well the theme of her semi-autobiographical, self penned piece Identity Crisis.

She grew up through Toxteth-riots era Liverpool, self-determination over coming shyness to pursue a modelling career that took her to Paris catwalks, hob-nobbing with the likes of Naomi Campbell, to big brand campaigns in New York and magazine front covers. From there she became a successful actress, then writer and columnist but all the time something was gnawing at her: 'Who am I?'

A family tragedy - which opens the piece - sparked the soul searching and using nine characters of different ages, genders and ethnicity she explores identity - not just how you see yourself but how others see you.

She smoothly switches from character to character, weaving their monologues into sections of her own story. When she is 'herself',  it feels like you are sitting down having a chat over a cuppa or a glass of wine. She is funny, self-deprecating and there is an honesty in her hindsight but the relaxed chatty style hides some barbs of social commentary - being told she was bold and different for wearing her hair naturally and being given a chicken and ghetto blaster to hold for a photo shoot while the white models were given more glamourous items.

Phina Oruche's story is a really interesting one and that is where this piece worked best and I could have listened to more of her story. The other characters, despite their distinctions of gender, age and race start to get a bit tangled and as a result lose their impact. It is an interesting approach but not one that completely worked. I'm giving Identity Crisis three and a half stars and you can see it at the Ovalhouse in Kennington until May 13. It's 70 minutes straight through.