Review: Hear Me Howl, Old Red Lion - a fun and considered exploration of female stereotypes
Great to see a play challenging gender stereotypes but doing it in a way that is both fun and considered
Jess (Alice Pitt-Carter) is nearly 30, lives with her boyfriend Taj and has an unstimulating office job.
It's an ordinary life, one she feels she is sleepwalking through and frustration grows about the question of when she and Taj are going to get married and have children.
Taj has leanings in that direction (it's not that play) the problem is that Jess doesn't.
Life changing decision
And while she is wrestling with that conundrum, she decides to join a post-punk band but before her first gig, she has to make a life-changing decision.
Written by Lydia Rynne, Hear Me Howl is peppered with references to culture contemporary to the 30-somethings and bubbles with quips and funny observation while handling issues such as pregnancy and abortion with sensitivity and insight.
It's a play that refreshingly challenges sex-role stereotypes by highlighting the pressures, frustrations and dilemmas faced by women who don't necessarily want to follow society's prescribed path.
Moments of tenderness
There are moments of tenderness and poignancy - Rynne avoids presenting the usual sort of antagonistic mother-daughter relationship - but it builds to a blistering drum beat of female empowerment and liberation.
I wanted to pick up drumsticks and join a post-punk band myself, instead, I left the theatre nodding along to some Pearl Jam on my iPod.
Great to see a play challenging gender stereotypes of this nature but doing it in a way that is both fun and considered, I'm giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
It's 70 minutes long and is at the Old Red Lion Theatre until September 29.
Fringe theatre: The Political History of Smack and Crack, Soho Theatre - witty, blunt and poetic.
West End: Misty, Trafalgar Studios - putting the pulse back into the West End
From the archive: Tom Hiddleston takes a shower on stage in Coriolanus.