I first heard about the show when I saw a friend had donated to the Indiegogo campaign, and I assumed, based on the title, that it was a drama. But Liz Femi’s “Take Me To The Poorhouse” is comedy in every sense of the word, taking the classic Cinderella concept and turning it on its head.
Each of Femi’s characters (which range from extreme differences of socio-economics, gender, age, and wisdom) is illustrated crystal-clearly through the written voice as well as physical voice and physical presence. Put together, they give such a rich and vibrant depiction of life in Nigeria, as well as tapping into a “universal” experience – the naivety of inexperience and of financial privilege. (But, of course, that’s my own privilege talking – privilege is in no way universal.) Yet, is it naivety to wish to be challenged instead of pampered? To want to become strong in the face of adversity instead of relaxing into luxury? What do we really need, in our lives, other than the people around us and the stories that we tell each other? That’s the Fringe Festival for you. And that’s Take Me To The Poorhouse, a beautiful, thoughtful and thought-provoking story of a little girl’s journey from riches to rags.
Can’t help but echo little Yemi – “Well dooooooone!”