Following its award-winning run at the Edinburgh Fringe, and after getting lots of recommendations from people whose opinion I trust, I booked in to see Cora Bissett’s ‘What Girls are Made Of’ at the Soho Theatre.
Based on Cora Bissett’s teenage diaries, ‘What Girls are Made of’ transported me back to the days of my youth. I’m so glad I went to see it with an old school friend, as the familiar soundtrack of our teen years brought back so many vivid memories. We even worked out that teenage Cora would have been the year above us in school, and while that school may have been far from our own (Scotland vs London), the music we grew up with was the same.
What makes it so special? Through the fusion of live music (gig style) and theatre Cora Bissett and director Orla O’Loughlin have created an energetic, exciting yet delicately personal show. Cora Bissett tells her story with a clarity and honesty that pulls you into the world of her teens. Music both sets the mood and helps drive the story. There is so much humour infused throughout the show, it makes the moments of disarming vulnerability and pure emotion all the more affecting.
Cora Bissett is joined on stage by Simon Donaldson, Emma Smith and Harry Ward, who in addition to providing the live music for the show, brilliantly play a variety of different supporting roles. I can not get over, how endearing Harry Ward is as Cora’s mother.
If you ever wondered what life would have been like if you’d joined a band at school, got a record deal and had gone on tour with the likes of Radiohead and Blur, this is the show for you. If you enjoy true stories about success, failure, friendship and family, this is also the show for you.
‘What Girls are Made of’ is such a joy. It balances great roars of music and youthful energy with quieter moments of love and loss. There is so much to love about this show, and clearly word has spread as many of the remaining nights at the Soho Theatre are down to their last few tickets.
Running until Saturday 28th September, I’d book quickly to avoid disappointment. I can not recommend it highly enough.