Credit: Victoria double. Anna Mackay, Naomi Gardener & Modupe Salu pictured
‘The Girl with Glitter in her Eye’ opens with our cast of 3 moving across the stage with distinctly alien movements, they are the Furies who have brought us together in order to judge Helen for what she has done to Phil. Movement director Maria Koripas has created a jerky and dissonant physical language for these Furies that is both compelling and strange. It helps clearly identify when our cast are being Furies vs inhabiting the human story we are there to see.
There are many fascinating ingredients to ‘The Girl with Glitter in her Eye’. The cast are uniformly strong, and there are many eye-catching elements to the piece. However, these ingredients don’t fully come together to create a cohesive and clear central thought. There are definitely interesting points made about consent, and the ownership of our own stories. The Art world is definitely critiqued for its voracious appetite for personal trauma laid-bare. Friendship fights ambition. Creativity comes at the cost of betrayal. This is a rich and inventive piece, but it lacks a focus that I could emotionally invest in. Maybe we need to see more of Phil and Helen’s friendship before the betrayal, as Phil shares her story with Helen in a way that feels rushed and disjointed, and cut-off from the audience. Phil seems on-edge even before the incident with the filter papers, so until the post rationalised explanation later in the play, the significance of that moment doesn’t shine through.
The originality and energy shown in the execution of ‘The Girl with Glitter in her Eye’ ensures an attention holding night of theatre, however there is definitely scope to define the focus, in order to create a more powerful emotional journey for the audience. Are we really there to judge Helen at all? Do we need to understand more about what Phil is actually going through to feel the weight of Helen’s actions? We only really see Phil through her interactions with Helen, is this deliberate? Do we need to silence Helen in the play where we are judging someone else for silencing her? I have a lot of questions, and this is definitely a play that sparks conversation, I just wish it gave that conversation more direction.
‘The Girl with Glitter in her Eye’ runs at the Bunker Theatre until 27th January.