Belgrade B2 review: One Kiss
One Kiss, Belgrade B2 Coventry, to July 9
Review by Sue Beech
This one-woman show explores what it means to be a woman through the lives of three connected women – Georgia, Shirley, and ‘Mam’.
Lara West’s powerful text and equally powerful singing voice display various experiences of womanhood – youth, adolescence, menstruation, giving birth, stillbirth, motherhood, widowhood, menopause, loneliness of old age, lesbian love – all supported by two musicians of great virtuosity. This reviewer enjoyed the music tremendously – it was hauntingly beautiful, both as accompaniment to the songs and as background to the spoken words.
My only reservation concerns the snippets played over the speakers – they were spoken by a variety of women, presumably culled from interviews, but at times it was difficult to distinguish what was being said.
However, this did not detract from the overall experience, which was engrossing, authentic and entertaining – and audience reaction suggested that it rang many bells with personal lived experiences.
Chris Arnot adds:
It was so long ago that I might even have had a few brown hairs. There was a show called Timeshift at the Belgrade and I, apparently, predicted that a talented young performer called Tracey West could go far. Wrote a feature about her in one newspaper or another that convinced her to train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Apparently.
Tracey is now called Lara J West and her TV
appearances alone are too lengthy to list.Tracey is now called Lara J West (pictured right) and her TV appearances alone are too lengthy to list. Back on the stage in Coventry, she spoke and sang with considerable resonance for an hour or so, with occasional recorded interventions from disembodied female voices that were not quite so clear.
Lara wrote the script too, and the lines were poetic at times. Rhyming couplets indeed.
The subject was womanhood, from menstruation to menopause and beyond. “How does it feel to be a woman?” we’re asked.
Not sure I’m qualified to answer that, despite having three daughters in their forties as well as a wife. But at least I can occasionally spot a talented female actor in the making.