It's odd, but I actually had this exact conversation with a friend recently. Why does being called a 'good girl' feel nice? That glorious subconscious feeling in the pit of your stomach when someone calls you a 'good girl' is so deeply routed from childhood, and I still very much feel it today as a grown woman. It's like wearing a corset, so bad and un-feminist of me, yet I still totally want to wear one.
Sheldon's love letter to the noughties consistently has a 'me too!' response, and the piece starts as a fun and honest insight into the childhood of regular gal from Sheffield. Her performance as complicated Gigi is captivating and she expertly takes the time to feel each phrase, word and moment as if it is the first time. Directed by Matt Peover, Gigi guides us through the characters she creates of friends, parents and lovers, and each are simple and hilarious. The text celebrates the pure love of childhood female friendship and how much impact each encounter can have on your life.
Designed by Alison Neighbour, the set is simply a gold podium. A mini stage for Sheldon to play. Her ability to have you laughing one minute and have a lump in your throat ten seconds later is astounding and a testament to the passionate writing. Gigi ask's 'What if I feel too much?' and describes the sensation as not having solid edges or having a pit in her stomach that could explode at any moment. But hey, it's the nineties. No one wants to know why you keep crying for no apparent reason. Panic attacks aren't a thing yet.
The piece darkens and I'm here for it. The impact is earned from the remarkable sincerity of the journey. The fact that Gigi finally finds some kind of solace within the soft, upbeat sounds of ABBA is just the cherry on the relatable cake. Naomi Sheldon maintains impressive momentum throughout the play, she truly is a force to be reckoned with. 'Fuck me, that was good. Get tickets now', I text my girl group after the show, and I urge you to do the same.
Written by @_FayeButler