Friday, 19 February 2021

REVIEW: Alright, Girl? for the Living Record Festival Online

This piece is one of many from the Living Record Festval, a celebraton of digital art taking place between the 17th January to 22nd February. The festval takes place digitally to provide access to theatre for everyone world-wide, with a platform of over 40 independent artsts and theatre companies from across the world streamed for you to enjoy at the click of a button. 

When it comes to expressing Art, for me, personal poetry is the most exposing and raw material you can give to the audience. In this soundscaped binaural recording, Maria Ferguson debuts her poetry collecton of “Alright, Girl ?” Accompanied with a soundscape created by Chris Drohon, this piece is a personal exploraton of class, gender and belonging set in and around the characteristc East End of London.

To begin, before you even press play, get a pair of headphones to listen to this piece as you enter a whole new world with a stunning soundscape that travels with you throughout Maria’s story. Sound designer Chris Drohon has created a naturalistc element that gave me the illusion of going on a walk through a park, which is fittng as that’s been the highlight of these lockdowns?! The binaural experience was completely new for me, and it was thoroughly enjoyable giving the calming podcast feel to the whole performance, apart from the slight jump scare I got from the pigeons.

The poetry from Maria Ferguson, demonstrates what it looks like to be inside the diary of her life. I was sent on an emotonal rollercoaster, with comical moments such as the sunburnt arse before prom, and the polar opposite of the trapped feeling of being in an unhealthy relatonship. There were also moments throughout that I heavily related to and these centred around the speeches she explained, like being in the pub and growing up in East London. Her gorgeous warm tone was the paintbrush of the piece, as I was transformed into the environments she created and had myself reminiscing and imaging the smells and atmosphere she experienced in childhood and her teenage years.

With its external use of sound and the storytelling that Maria provides, this performance/audio journey is an authentc look into the life of a woman, who has lived a life full of ups and downs and it was an hour where I felt I got to know more about the creator of these words than any visual piece or text could have brought. A feel good podcast-like piece of theatre that I highly enjoyed!

Review by Corey Mitchell

Rating: ★★★★ 

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £7.50
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