EFR - Reviews of Shower Thoughts

Shower Thoughts

Sat 4th – Sat 11th August 2018

reviews

Olivia Cooke

at 10:56 on 11th Aug 2018

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As we entered the theatre, we were met with the sight of a grubby student bathroom illuminated under the intense glare of a spotlight. An hour later (drenched in our own tears), we emerged from the performance in a state of euphoria. ‘Shower Thoughts’ had managed to capture our hearts in its intimate and beautiful portrayal of being a housemate in a student house.

The performance is an original song cycle chronicling the trials and tribulations of a group of five housemates on the cusp of graduating from uni. From hilarious reflections on Tinder dating to heart breaking confessions concerning mental health, ‘Shower Thoughts’ drew our attention to the overlooked and most tender moments of living in a student house.

The performance was able to carefully negotiate itself through a plethora of weighty themes, as each “housemate” was given their chance in the spotlight. One scene saw the audience in stitches, with one of the girls vomiting into a toilet whilst her housemates gleefully danced around her pronouncing her as “The Sesh Queen”.

The highs were intermingled with the lows: after comedy came tragedy, and the cast excelled in being able to change both their acting and vocal style to capture the range of emotions. Personally, I was most moved by the performance’s exploration of mental health issues for men. Lyrics such as “I am not supposed to be weak”, exposed and criticised the warped standards of masculinity. At this point in the performance, I was struggling to not cry. The meaningfully crafted lyrics, coupled with the brilliant vocal performances from the cast members, continuously packed a loaded punch to the heart.

‘Shower Thoughts’ is the best show I have seen at the Fringe so far. Everything came together in perfect harmony to produce a timeless and moving piece which will resonate with me for a long while. Please, go and see it!

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Charlie Norton

at 11:34 on 11th Aug 2018

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I don’t know if words can do justice to 'Shower Thoughts', a new song-cycle by Lavie Rabinovitz and Ryan Hay. I am not typically a fan of musical theatre, but this production is cool, unpretentious and incredibly poignant.

'Shower Thoughts' offers well-crafted glimpses into the lives of university housemates Sophie, Eva, Ang, Flick and Jonny, who grapple with a variety of surprisingly gritty modern-day issues through casual interactions with one another and private musings: the intimate bathroom setting is vital to maintaining this organic atmosphere. The songs beautifully capture the importance of brief moments shared between flatmates, hilariously depicting everything from the formative importance of holding a drunk friend’s hair back to the unique difficulties of shower sex.

The triumph of the show is that the cast members manage to differentiate their characters without limiting themselves to the archetypal comedy friend group set up of ‘the sexy one’, ‘the awkward one’ and so on. Each solo performance is multifaceted and genuine, providing the audience with characters they can really connect with. Comic moments are seamlessly spliced with serious personal revelations, maintaining an emotional ebb and flow that provoked laughs and, for myself and several other audience members, tears.

Musically, the cast offer a diverse range of vocal tones and the musicians deliver slick instrumentals. In particular, Stephanie Herron’s exploration of the modern epidemic of poor body image is deeply moving due to a very strong vocal performance and flawless characterisation. For me, Sara Pearce is the standout, delivering both a jovial body positive ditty and a heartfelt conversation about sexuality, with effortlessly beautiful vocals and brilliant comic timing. Equally, Iona Smith is riotous and delivers constant chuckles, Connor Norris offers a charming and sincere depiction of the struggles of masculinity, and Rachel Brown evokes sympathy with her love-life lamentations. The talented cast work amazingly well in chorus – even succeeding without accompaniment in brief acapella riffs – and have natural chemistry.

Rabinovitz and Hay cleverly draw the individual narratives together with a cathartic ensemble finale which brought myself and several other audience members to their feet in a standing ovation. Ultimately, 'Shower Thoughts' left me feeling refreshed and uplifted, with a renewed appreciation for my own friends who could so easily have been the characters portrayed on stage. I stepped back out onto the spirited streets of Edinburgh desperate to tell passers-by about the show, and I’m grateful to have this platform to give the production the acclaim it deserves.

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