By: Thomas George, TRP Reviewer
Do you have a nagging voice inside your head? How do you deal with it? Stop Trying to be Fantastic by Molly Naylor explores the challenges of having that constant internal nagging.
Naylor’s beautiful lyrical and poetic writing carries the one-person show, setting strong foundations for the poignant personal story. In more of a performative TED talk way, Molly takes us through her life living with her metaphorical Magpie and how she has been trying to escape its unwanted presence. The deep and personal stories told are all relatable and powerful drawing you in and making you evaluate the impact of your own Magpie.
Molly Naylor gives a warm in>mate performance making everyone comfortable, which dispelled the nervous mist among the audience from the first word. As both writer and performer Naylor takes strong grip of the script, something needed in a production that relies so heavily on its metaphor as its core drive. As the purpose of the production unfolds seamlessly, Naylors ability to hold the audience’s attention must be admired.
It is clear to see why Stop Trying to be Fantastic had such a great run at Edinburgh Fringe. A performance that lends itself to smaller performance spaces and possibly would feel even better in a makeshift performance space like those at the Fringe. The simple but strong integrated lighting and sound design round the production of well.
With only a few trivial theatrical weaknesses, the direction of the show is solid with clever minimalistic choices proving a wise decision.
Stop Trying to be Fantastic has only a couple of stops left on its tour (NORWICH THEATRE (STAGE 2) – 19 May & LONDON 2NORTHDOWN – 22 May). It is a show that will offer a charming theatre outing while making you think about “what we owe to each other and what we owe to ourselves”. It will certainly make you laugh, while making you think about the metaphor that you are trying to escape.