EFR - Reviews of Deliciously Stella

Deliciously Stella

Thu 4th – Sat 6th August 2016

reviews

Isobel Roser

at 09:29 on 7th Aug 2016

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‘Deliciously Stella’, a self-confessed goddess and all-round blessed individual, was on top form at the Pleasance on Saturday evening. Bella Younger’s satirical piece is truly hilarious, tapping into the ‘eat clean’ phenomenon of a generation fuelled by Instagram. She encapsulates the ridiculousness of the #blessed lifestyle with her cooking demonstrations, yoga instruction and general pearls of wisdom. This performance had me laughing throughout, and I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who is sick of seeing filtered pictures of poached egg and avocado toast.

‘Stella’ voices her desire to strike the right balance between smug and inspirational, telling her audience that much like a glow stick, we all need to break before we can shine. In order to get the glow, the audience are encouraged to bin all their cheat food and take a good look at their lifestyle choices. Younger certainly does not hold back when addressing audience members, pointing out dull skin and horrible hair wherever she sees fit. This abrupt, nonsensical means of judgement is the perfect way of satirising the diet obsessed health warriors that flood Instagram feeds. Regular audience participation allows Younger to maintain the illusion of a ‘seminar’, whilst also showcasing her ability to improvise with panache.

‘Stella’s dieting philosophy is based on an aversion to scientific evidence and an innate hatred of gluten. She ingeniously satirises the current fads for 'NutriBullets' and spiralizers, offering demonstrations of her cooking talents for the audience. A particular highlight includes her efforts to spiralize a Mars Bar, which she claims to be a great gluten-free alternative to pasta. Other stand-out suggestions include lard as the perfect hair mask and moisturiser, and Ferrero Rocher as a great substitute for almond based products. The audience lap up Younger’s digs at today’s ever-changing diet fads, though I’m unsure as to whether they would have been so keen to sample her Mars Bar spaghetti.

Younger is not only poking fun at the ‘eat clean’ phenomenon, she is critiquing the exclusivity of this particular way of life. ‘Stella’ represents the classic self-absorbed, gap year boasting millennial; a creature of vanity and regular selfies. She makes it clear that her healthy eating guidance are totally inclusive- if you are middle class, rich and thin that is. The sheer expense of ‘clean living’ has provided ample fodder for cynics, and Younger certainly capitalises on this fact.

‘Deliciously Stella’ is a hugely entertaining and highly amusing show. The ‘eat clean’ phenomenon, which has recently gathered pace, definitely needs a parody of this skill and calibre. ‘Stella’ acknowledges that if you are wealthy, in touch with your inner spirit, and in possession of a spiralizer, you too have the power to achieve a #goals lifestyle.

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Jessica Baxter

at 09:51 on 7th Aug 2016

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If you are absolutely sick of lean, slender friends talking about their new Nutri Bullet, or one-on-one yoga classes, or ‘finding themselves’ in distant, probably appropriated cultures, then ‘Deliciously Stella’ is the perfect comedy act for you. An hour of punchy, satirical humour oozes out of Bella Younger, an independent writer and comedian from Hackney. The only drawback – and it is a pretty big one – is that Younger, due to the limitations of keeping up a single caricature, is something of a one-trick pony.

The act itself is a ballsy parody of a health class, mocking the superstar nutritionist Deliciously Ella and all her clean-eating cronies. Her cookbook’s blurb tells readers she is a reformed ‘sugar monster’, and this is what Younger centres her act on: how monstrous it is to ingest anything with a crystal of sugar, or inhale a whiff of gluten, or to go another day longer without eating organically sourced avo-toast.

Younger herself is hugely charismatic, allowing the viewer to relax in her complete self-assuredness. She strolls across stage slowly and deliberately, shoulders hunched over slightly, nose wrinkling from a condescending smile. ‘I just love coconut water,’ she announces, proudly flourishing a bottle of Malibu and mixing it with pineapple juice for ‘a refreshing detox’. She’s effortlessly funny, never breaking the act. This itself poses its own problems – hearing the same tone of voice and endless sarcasm makes the jokes a little predictable and repetitive.

Do not go to this show if you are in any way insecure – Younger’s eyes drags across the audience from time to time, as she picks out people in the crowd to ask them patronising, personal questions. ‘Ma’am,’ she says gently. ‘Your hair is shit. Have you lost your inner glow?’.

The audience find the sheer offensiveness of these interactions incredibly funny; I feel the bench shaking from people’s laughter at one point. On second thoughts, maybe you should go and see this show if you are not comfortable with your body – the constant sarcasm dripping from Younger’s honeyed tones and the increasingly stupid food suggestions make you realise how ridiculous, smug and elitist the ‘Designer Diet’ lifestyle is.

The T-shirt she sports, with the words ‘in fries we trust’ sprawled over the front, constantly undermines everything Younger says in her Stella personality. This show is perfect for people who need a reality-check away from the Bristol-type, independent vegan café regulars who could maybe learn a thing or two from ‘Deliciously Stella’ themselves.

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