Five Star Review from the Fringe!

26 Aug

Bu2ogekCQAARUrP_I’ve just got back from Edinburgh: city built by Escher, maker & breaker of dreams, and all-round boot camp for the performing arts.

I’ll do a proper round-up and thank you post when I’ve had more sleep and more time to reflect, but in the meantime: I had some reviews of my debut one-woman show and they were excellent:

Four stars from Sabotage Reviews, who came on opening night. Really lovely, in-depth review. Do click on the link for the whole thing. Choice quotes include:

Asking Nicely is a thoroughly entertaining and insightful piece by Hannah Chutzpah that dissects the ways we ask for and are given permission with near-surgical accuracy. She skilfully breaks down the power and privilege that condition our language and behaviour, crafting a convincing argument from anecdote, poetry, quotations and studies that provides plenty of fun along the way. What’s best about the show is the way that Chutzpah‘s language dances around and beneath the show’s complex ideas as she explores the permissions we ask and take with a deft and playful touch.

Fascinating ideas, expressed eloquently, amusingly and with supreme lyricism.

I tightened the show a bit during the run, and while all reviews are highly subjective, I am double-extra happy with this FIVE STAR REVIEW from Three Weeks who came towards the end of the run. (This one’s shorter so I’ll copy and paste the whole thing):

Performance poet Hannah Chutzpah has had enough of asking nicely. She’s tired of the way women are expected to be smaller, quieter, less. She’s kicking back against that fiercely in this show, where she confidently tackles themes of feminism, body-confidence, self-care and learning when to say no. This is not just a political rant, however; it’s both humorous and humane. Her poems are performed with an infectious energy, and she uses scientific studies and quotes to back up her points. For those who were mocked at school, for those who always feel the need to ask permission, Chutzpah’s confidence and determination are inspiring: this is a gorgeous, life-affirming, empowering show. I left at least three inches taller.

Also, I had this lovely call-out from Kirsten Luckins of Apples & Snakes fame:

A show about permission delivered from a feminist perspective, which sounds like it might be short on laughs but which is actually full of light-touch humour and bubbly poems. This is a show that falls into a model I have decided to unilaterally declare as ‘the poetic lecture’ … The best ones are marked by several common features – clarity and coherence of the overall structure, non-threatening audience participation activities, effective use of props. Of the ones I’ve seen, Hannah’s has been most obviously set up as a pseudo-lecture, with white lab coat and all, and I really rather liked that. I also really liked her hand-drawn A2 sketchpad illustrations! And I’ve found myself looking around for any instances in my own behaviour where I seek permission, so it’s made me think. Belter.

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One Response to “Five Star Review from the Fringe!”

  1. Francis Blake October 18, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    Dear Hannah
    I have just read (most of) Alchemy, treasure and butterfly wings of the way home from the gig at The Cellar Upstairs, where (you may remember) I was the middle aged bloke who was selling your books (along with CDs of Dorton Yonder, and that old geezer who played the harp (Keith Beechey)) and you read some of your stuff, which I mostly could not hear because I am going deaf. Sad sign of age! And you gave me a free copy of your book, which I thought was very extremely nice of you (since I only managed to sell 2 or 3 copies of your book (pehaps 4?) even though I tried very hard to get people to take “the package” {two CDs and a book of pomes for 24 quid! BARGAIN!!} Anyway, I REALLY REALLY like the pomes. Thank you so much for that gift.
    I am an artist too, (Illustrator/painter) and I would v much like to return the compliment. Give me an address (does not have to be yours,- safety should be a feature of our lives, and you do not know me, I might be untrustworthy after all! (even though I am actually very trustworthy indeed)(but you cannot take these things for granted!) ) and I will send you something of my output. Drawings or writings. Because art should be commerce of the soul and not financially based I feel. Thank you for being a poet who shares. Lots of love and hugs. Francis

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