10-12 March 2014
Reviewed by Emma Gibson
Some Girl I Used To Know starts with camera flashlights flickering in spectacular style on a famous lingerie designer, music blaring as she returns to her hotel room to prepare for another exclusive with the columnist who seems intent on bending the truth.
Denise Van Outen played our protagonist Stephanie Canworth in the one-woman show reliving her first love after a ‘poke’ on her Facebook page. Along with admitting a troubled relationship with her ‘nice but safe’ husband, she sends first love Sean a message involving the audience and playing on our reaction.
We are transported back to the 1980’s reliving Stephanie’s youth as a 15 year-old schoolgirl being asked on a date by Sean, with nice touches of memories of Aramis and crimped hair. She sings her memories through 80’s classic love songs ‘You Came’ and ‘Hold Me Now’.
Van Outen’s voice is surprising for those unaware of her theatre background; she is touching singing with raw emotion of first love.
We are reminded of her life now when messages are received from her husband and Van Outen portrays a confused and somewhat unlikeable character in the first half. Stephanie is the woman on the outset to have it all, but all is not what it seems…
We are taken into the 1990’s in the second part of the show, we see Stephanie as a vulnerable young woman and giving the audience an insight into what has driven her career so far. The audience are drawn in by her realisation that she has been looking at her first love through rose tined glasses and Stephanie is standing at the crossroads of life. ‘Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing’…
Van Outen should be applauded for her one-woman performance, quite a feat to be able to keep an audience captive for an hour and a half but her wit, style and stage presence made this an enjoyable show. The staging was well thought out as she was able to move from one area to another and engaging the audience. The music was a particular highlight of the show, slowed down versions of classic songs was able to show how powerful a singer she is. It was no wonder she received a standing ovation.
Tickets cost from £16.50 to £25.50 (plus booking fee).
To book tickets call the Box Office on 0131 529 6000 or visit www.edtheatres.com/somegirl.