Caught between Girlhood & Womanhood: Lunar Objects Theatre

Bramble Wallace of Lunar Objects Theatre
Bramble Wallace of Lunar Objects Theatre

Lunar Objects Theatre

“One girl, hundreds of questions”. That was the synopsis of Lunar Objects Theatre’s “Am I If”, a one-woman show that featured a series of anecdotes addressing the confusion of when you find yourself caught between girlhood and womanhood.

Before I sat down to watch “Am I If?” I was intrigued by the idea of a solo act, I admit I was a little concerned. My scepticism came following my interview with them, seeing how well Elizabeth and Bramble bounced off of each other, understood each other, even finished each other’s sentences. I’d seen this dynamic of Lunar Objects Theatre work so well and now that was set to change.

I wouldn’t know what I’d be getting from seeing Bramble perform on her own, but in a way that helped me cleanse my mental palate for what to expect. The drastic change in the show put an awful lot of pressure on not only Bramble’s ability on stage but the meticulousness of her redrafting to make sure those who were unaware of the show’s change would not suspect anything.

The Performance

I brought my mother along and with the opening scene being about how warm and quiet the launderette is, we missed the humour in it where our own trips have always been so stressful; A family of six, at least 3 machines at any given time and a constant smog of washing powder, not what I’d call my “sanctuary”.

When most of us have studies and full-time jobs and families, we’re rushed off our feet trying to make everything fit together, sometimes the only moment of solitude you can find is when you’re washing your clothes or fumbling onto a train. Little everyday events end up unexpectedly twinned with the minute of mental silence that you’ve been gasping for all day. I came out of “Am I If”’s opening scene with a sigh of relief.

So how did I really feel about the show as a whole? Bramble you did a stunning job. What I was most impressed with was seeing the tiny subtleties in both a) her everyday life that she had brought attention to in her script writing and b) her physical ability to work in such an intimate space as The Lion and Unicorn Theatre.

Knowing that everyone has that one brutally and epically inconvenient period story will never fail to get a laugh from me. Better still, seeing the sheer panic, horror and yet totally calm facade on Bramble’s face as she precisely recreates the thoughts that go through every woman’s mind as soon as that fateful scenario hits.

The way Bramble addressed technology hit a nerve with me because I feel strongly about the role technology has in my life, but not everyone feels the need to discuss it like I do. With research coming in droves, telling us that social media is affecting our mental health, we know that our phones aren’t the objects of wonderment they were designed to be. There’s something beautiful, though, about switching off facts and figures for a second and hearing somebody’s heartfelt monologue about how friends can leave digital traces but not physical ones. 

The narrative was that her childhood best friend, “Amber”, had been through thick and thin with her and yet had disappeared.  Ending their friendship… until she’d picked herself back up from being a headless chicken. Seeing a very isolated and individual situation brought to life added a quiet appreciation from those watching who had been through the same. I definitely understood the risk in what Lunar Objects Theatre was doing with this show, beyond the humour of the granny pants coming out and armpit hair as a sexual harassment deterrent.

Seeing Bramble stand alone whilst acting out the flashback scenarios made it effortless to relate to her because the running commentary she’d slip into would be one I’d have in my own head at that very moment in my own life. The emptiness of the stage apart from herself served as a reminder of the confusing issues that we as women deal with alone and no amount of girl gangs and group chats make it any easier to cope with or understand. No one gives you a guidebook to being a girl or a grown woman, we have had to carve one out ourselves.

“Am I If?” resonated with me as sometimes I’ll get completely flustered, manic, go home and have a cry. What makes that less of a problem is knowing I’m not the only person who does it. It’s pretty flippin’ natural and once I’ve gotten out whatever’s built up inside of me, what helps you rebuild is knowing that even though you’re alone in that moment, you’re not alone in what you’re feeling or experiencing.

I’m both impressed and warmed by Lunar Objects Theatre’s debut and what they had to say. I have no critiques or negative take aways. The work was very clearly informed by multiple voices and stood a real ground for those little thoughts that we try to dismiss and yet can’t. I feel like I’ve had a verbal hug after watching “Am I If?” and I can’t summarise it better than that. Make sure you keep an eye out for the next move from these talented women.

Written by Brittany Sutcliffe.

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