In 1998 a much loved British sweet changed its name to . . . we don't say that name here. In her debut solo show, Opal Fruits, Holly Beasley-Garrigan asks what it means to be making performance as a working-class artist today: to have a stake in two worlds but to feel as though you don't really fit into either. Fresh off the back of a sell-out scratch at Camden People's Theatre, Opal Fruits is an unreliable solo show about the fetishisation of the feral female. Spliced with stories from four generations of women, in Beasley-Garrigan's family, who came of age on the same council estate in South London, the show is about working-class women and the trouble with 90's nostalgia. Inspired by 10 years battling impostor syndrome, fitting in, and making shows collaboratively with various award-winning theatre companies, Beasley-Garrigan decided to explore what it means to be making performance as a working class artist today. Opal Fruits
is a re-claiming and re-casting of the self-congratulatory, spoken-word solo show; ?Hands up who's bored of white people making sentimental, autobiographical, solo shows that use direct address, spoken-word, and gritty clich?d accounts of other people's struggles for the entertainment of the middle classes. The well-established default . . . Whoops' says Beasley-Garrigan. Opal Fruits
is a tongue-in-cheek questioning of the broader implications of faux-working-class cultural trends and an attempt to simultaneously critique and make use of the platform that Beasley-Garrigan has now, to elevate the voices of the women who shaped her. The show is for audiences well versed in the autobiographical solo-show form but it's also for those who don't see themselves adequately represented on stage, whose voices get lost. It is for women who might not ordinarily go to the theatre and for Holly's mum, who died while she was making it, before she had a chance to interview her.
Archive :: production:T01005333742, play:S545649397, venue:V01067696945
Part of the Vaults Festival