Written by Rachel Causer
Directed by Liam Blain
The art of lying is a talent. Despite what people may think about our habits of spreading fibs and telling tall tales, lying has a place and purpose. More so than ever, the visage of falsehood is a comfort blanket in a social media-dictated world.
Please, Feel Free to Share is a one-woman show, a mostly comedic and occasionally dark venture through personal addictions and the biggest fix we all crave; likes. On the surface, as a young woman opens to her presumed therapy group, of the loss and difficulties she faces – it all feels a touch contrite. And that’s precisely the point.
You see, behind those Crocodile tears, Alex has success. Plenty of it in fact. Her Instagram is the envy of all who watch – full of private parties, flowing fizz and clinking glasses. But when her father dies, Alex reluctantly agrees to join a bereavement group to appease the higher-ups at work. But the itch she feels from the attention of creating a character begins to take hold. And just one group isn’t enough. One Alex isn’t enough.
Forced into this situation, Alex makes the most of it. Toying with her fellow sharers, and actively avoiding the numerous attempts to unearth her own history with her father or mother. Unsurprisingly, the depth of which we get to know Alex gradually opens across the show, with performer Roísín Bevan an engrossing presence, with enough sharp wit to hold the stage, but enough approachability to maintain the dramatic nature of the show.
Compact, Rachel Causer’s Please, Feel Free to Share does precisely what it sets out to do, with Bevan turning in an engaging and thoroughly relatable Alex. The show refrains from anything which pushes the envelope too far, which seems to hold back Bevan’s more powerful emotional monologues, which she is more than capable of demonstrating. Praise however goes to Causer’s tying off of the show, fending off the schmaltz and instead opting for a more authentic conclusion which plays directly into Bevan’s more diverse talents of character building.
But as the seeds of deceptions grow and sprout, this kingdom of falsehood crumbles in on Alex. Please, Feel Free to Share takes a comfortable pace through the implementation, fruition, and eventual payoff/reveal of Alex’s trauma. But there lacks that final gut-punch of emotion in the show’s direction, where Bevan’s characterisation and talent are clear, but never fully utilised, despite its canny humour and respectfully admirable attitude to telling porkies.
‘Comedic art of fibbing’
Runs at the Pleasance Courtyard until August 29th (not 15th)
Tickets for which may be obtained here.