The themes of this powerful performance were anorexia, loneliness, teenage angst and the persistent pressure to conform to the unreal expectations of society of what a girl should look like, as if one’s external looks were the be all and end all.
Vicky Haslinger embodied her role very effectively, not only in what she said but also in her quality of controlled stillness which managed to starkly show her inner emotional turmoil. Her class back background and emotional and educational shortcomings of her personality were powerfully shown through careful use of voice and movement. Vicky used the space well and managed to build up a relationship with the audience who were all the time made acutely aware of the character’s loneliness and isolation.
Vicky embodying a teenager battling anorexia.
What added to the impact of the play was the very effective design elements which precisely suggested, not only Vicky’s character but powerfully and symbolically reflected the themes of the drama. The idealized images of models stuck on the upright flats highlighted the unreal expectations that society imposes on what a woman should really look like. Also, the creepy voice of authority, symbolized in the doctor’s disembodied voice enabled the central character to give voice to her innermost fears and desires.
Likewise, the cramped intimacy of the space, covered by an expansive red cloth together with the powerful use of the projected images served to accentuate her isolation and inner torment. Vicky used her anxious gestures and variation in breathing to focus her character’s inner confusion.
This was a memorable performance highlighting a not-often talked about issue for young people. The performance was scripted and directed by Eddy Rudram.