What happens when you combine a squiffed-up Marilyn Monroe, a calorie conscious Margaret Thatcher and a suicidal Virginia Woolf – throw in three filing cabinets, a bucket and some schizophrenic-style storytelling? ★★★

A trichotomy of a supposed glimpse into the minds of influential women, whisked in with a smidge of self loathing, bipolarism and an 11-year-old girl desperate for some love – we give you Susannah Hislop’s one woman show.

Watching Hislop is sort of like watching Eddie Murphy playing numerous characters in the same scene, with a touch of Vanessa Feltz’s meltdown on the first Celebrity Big Brother, and a slight undertone of Edwina Currie’s parties-for-one on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. It’s an interesting combination.

Diary reciting, grapefruit and pill lobbing, famous quotes and letters piece together this helter-skelter performance that unveils the implausible but believable similarities linking the trio. Susannah focuses on the not-so-positive elements of Thatcher’s, Woolf’s and Monroe’s lives and ultimately is doing so for the same reason why Eric Pickles avoids mirrors – to feel better about herself.

Hislop has that Judi-Dench-being-interviewed draw – instantly likeable. But unlike the oven-timer for the Bake Off’s show-stopper, it could do with winding forward a few mins.

Written and performed by Susannah Hislop

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Directed by Anna Ledwich

 

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