It's Not Cute Anymore

Sun 5th – Sun 26th August 2018

reviews

Eleanor Gunn

at 09:24 on 12th Aug 2018

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It is difficult to follow your dreams, but it is even more difficult not to – ‘It’s Not Cute Anymore’, Starring Bel Knight and Clare Hoey, tells us this much at least. This loud, brash and honest look at the struggle you face in the pursuit of a creative career is bound to make you giggle.

The play takes place over the course of a few days, while the two women are frantically trying to put together a book for meeting at a publishing house. While they might have lied their way there, it leads to some wonderful misadventures – at one point the pair break into English singer and actor Marianne Faithfull’s house to try to get a guerrilla style interview. This is shown to the audience on a big screen, as filmed by one of the characters on snapchat. The multimedia approach adds a modern twist, as well as being incredibly funny. Keep an eye out for some seriously relatable google searches.

The characters are irreverent, rude and bossy, and refuse to be put into a box. We watch them navigate a night out with their more successful (and endlessly smug) ‘grigio girls’. They perfectly capture how frustrating it can be to watch your friends succeed while you are still struggling, without becoming moany.

'It's Not Cute Any More' is a wonderful show of female friendship, ambition and humour. Women are so often expected to be quiet, polite and reclining, but Knight and Hoey refuse to let this define them. They are unapologetically themselves, and their personalities are what make this play such a success. They make the most of their small stage, and make clever use of space.

A theme that they focus on a lot is the bravery that is required to follow your dreams, regardless of the cost. And despite the constant gags, the show is sincere in its message. In the end the meeting and book go down the drain, but you are left feeling optimistic about their futures.

'It's Not Cute Any More' is a show to go see if you need a little inspiration. You will leave feeling that, regardless of success, so long as you’re doing what you love, then you’re doing something right. This is a reassuring message to hear at the fringe.

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Emilia Andrews

at 09:39 on 12th Aug 2018

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Two women, one dream and a face-off with failure. ‘It’s Not Cute Anymore’ is a funny and slightly bleak representation of life in Niamh and Mimi’s late twenties. When Niamh discovers that there is an opportunity for them to get a book published, she is determined to do all she can to make her dream a reality. This, along with a few interjections from their savage boss Margaret and Mimi’s self-obsessed Aunt, makes up the narrative of this play.

In occupying two roles each, Bel Knight and Clare Hoey display versatility. Hoey gives a particularly good performance in her role as Lynx Africa wearing Margaret, most frequently seen criticising Niamh for her lack of dedication to her job at “Living Well Magazine”. Hoey manages to switch between the roles of bouncy, full-of-expression Mimi and the stiff, stern Margaret with seamless ease. Meanwhile, Knight plays Mimi's fame-grabbing aunt and the very goofy Niamh, with both characters of different ends of the scale.

‘It’s Not Cute Anymore’ is fast-paced and taboo breaking. The part I found funniest was when it was revealed Niamh had a secret obsession with Hermione and Snape fan-fiction. A favourite book of hers? “Hermione Granger and the Gobbling of Cocks”. A lot of the jokes are vulgar like this and centre on female sexuality which are entertaining at first (Mimi at one point accuses a baby of being a “tiny fat pervert” for looking at her breasts.) However, these jokes do start to feel a little overdone as the performance goes on.

While the writing is good, I did feel that the narrative wasn’t strong enough to keep my interest for the whole hour of the performance. I wasn’t desperate to find out how things end for Niamh and Mimi. This said, their attempts to overcome the obstacles they encountered on their journey to publication provided a base for which Knight and Hoey could riff off, exploring a modern-day female friendship with their sharp wit.

The use of tech was smart throughout the show. During a meeting with the publishing company, they use a voice recording of the man talking to them rather than having him physically on stage. This allowed the stage to remain dominated by women, keeping the focus on the rising tensions between Niamh and Mimi as they resort to ridiculous measures to get their book published.

Despite feeling a little repetitive at times, at the core of this play is an entertaining exploration of coming to terms with failure and the friendship between two women who are struggling to fulfil their ambitions.

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