Review by RAYMOND-KYM SUTTLEJune 24, 2019
What I liked
Many of the criticisms I’ve had about other solo shows were addressed in this performance. Crystal is not only a powerhouse of a performer (boy does she work hard for her money!) but she’s also incredibly brave in telling her story so candidly – I’m presuming it’s all true – and yet, simultaneously, managing to make it incredibly entertaining and informative.
I love the way she was able to seamlessly and swiftly switch from character to character, clearly delineating each person both physically and vocally, enabling her to effectively have conversations/dialogue rather than just monologues to the audience.
Her emotional range is incredible. When she effortlessly glides from playing the personification of Meth to a distressed hallucinating version of herself, screaming for help one second and then calmly and maliciously enjoying her own distress as the drug observes it’s affect on her, I couldn’t help but be in awe of her skills as an actress. I’m sorry she had to live through what she went through but boy oh boy has it made her an incredible actress. All the more so because it takes a lot to be that vulnerable on stage with your own personal story.
I also liked the clearly genuine heartfelt gratitude at the end of the show, expressed regarding the privilege of having an audience’s attention and the fact that she didn’t waste a second of our time. A fascinating insight into a life I’m grateful I haven’t had to live, but am in awe of the fact that she has not only triumphed over adversity but come out of the other side shining!
What I didn't like
My only real criticism of this show is that I’ve now seen quite a few shows directed by Jessica and I’ve come away feeling that she’s using a formulaic approach to creating these shows. So I’d really love to see a show directed by her that doesn’t use exactly the same story telling devices, and the same set elements; in a few cases the set is almost identical.
I’d also suggest that in future that if you’re going to have text projected onto a screen – just read the text as it’s written because it’s unnecessarily distracting when the actor is saying learned lines that don’t match the text on the screen – it’s a minor point but just seemed like it would have been easier to just turn around and read what the audience is reading anyway because it’s on a screen.
My overall impression
This was the first and only show I absolutely HAD to give a standing ovation for and it takes a LOT to get me to stand for an ovation!
There were a few things I would have changed if I’d directed this show, but Crystal is such a powerful and compelling performer that it more than made up for any of the things I would’ve changed. What a pity it’s finished already, but if it gets a well-deserved encore, go and see it!