Have you ever felt like smashing your telly while watching Frozen with your little child for the millionth time? Try to watch it again after the breakdown of your ten-year relationship, when your world has shattered to pieces and you see no perspective for happily ever after. The theme song ‘Love is an Open Door’ instead of lifting your spirit up, plays the role of a painful thorn in your heart. Listening to this princess’ utopian anthem of everlasting love, either makes you sick or cry. I nearly had this feeling at the very beginning of the latest She Productions musical ‘Beverley Does Broadway: Rebound’. However, very quickly I realised how wittily, sarcastically and intelligently crafted this play was.
She Productions, women only theatre, revamped their sold-out musical from 2015. Annie Kirkman, Alice Palmer, Abey Bradbury and Eliza Hewitt-Jones took me on the musical adventure throughout decades, from Kiss me Kate, Chicago, Hairspray to The Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof. I sang (which I not supposed to) but mostly I laughed. I laughed out loud, I haven’t laughed like that for ages. But I was not only laughing at Annie’s Latte Boy or Eliza’s Harry Potter lover. I laughed at myself, though bitterness, sorrow and own abhorrence.
Four young women. All different in a sense. One very tomboyish, tough, giving an impression of being a praying mantis that would eat you alive if you hurt her. Another one, a dreamer. An absolute product of pop culture and modern media indoctrination, believing in only true love, for ever and ever. She craves it. Desperately and obsessively returning to a local café for a triple latte to fulfil her delusions. Third one, cocky, very confident and possessive. Eliza is a type of a neo-feminist, a Disney princess who just deserves it all. She reminds me of Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures, but instead of chasing animals, that one chases men. She hunts them for love and babies them to death. The last one, a confused one. A run-away bride, who just can’t marry Paul, whose dilemma and post-break up depression are in the centre of She Productions consideration. They have one obvious thing in common – need for love.
She Productions chose a great format to speak about this eternal topic. A musical makes it fun, enjoyable and popular. It balances the seriousness of the distorted image of the true love we have been fed for centuries. Do we, women, only accept butterflies, the Big Bang love with fireworks in the background? Do we really chase the soulmate, who in three months’ time we will run down to in the church (in case he’s faster to run away), vow faithfulness, give him five children and live happily ever after. We are the generation brought up on romantic comedies and dysfunctional love stories, which centre themselves around suffering more than loving. All four characters of the Beverley Goes Broadway live in a mendacious reality, ironically ideal in their brainwashed imagination. Chasing unreachable, non-existing.
Although I nearly had Afib at the beginning, I truly enjoyed this production. It made me think. We all, like broken-hearted Abey need a rebound time. Rebound is like a bereavement, you need to it find out who you are again and to realise what you actually aim for in a new life. Rebound is that time when you are forgiven for doing stupid things, experimenting with random men and having an unwritten right to hurt others because someone had hurt you. It’s a crucial time to finish one journey before you start another. It’s time for reflection and reminiscence of a happy me. Most importantly, it’s time to restore your real relationships with friends, who are always there for you.
She Productions created another hilarious and engaging musical, the story about a true love – friendship.