Note: This review is from the 2017 Fringe

Urielle Klein-Mekongo is a writer, theatre maker, singer, songwriter and performer. With Yvette she has collaborated with China Plate, an independent theatre studio that works with interesting performers to present challenging and engaging work. Yvette is written by and starring Urielle Klein-Mekongo. She makes use of a loop pedal and her abilities as a performer to present a powerful and traumatic story that looks at race, abuse and power.

Urielle Klein-Mekongo plays Yvette. She enters the stage and begins to tap a microphone. She then uses a loop pedal to sample this tapping sound and it forms the beat of the song that introduces the show. Yvette follows the story of a young teenage black girl who is struggling to find her place in the world. She feel inadequate, where the colour of her skin, her age and her gender are used to put her down. Various people take advantage of this young girl and it is this struggle that we see on stage.

Words and voices play a big role in the performance. Urielle samples various spoken words and phrases with the loop pedal. The vocals are repeated over and over and the constant looping gives the words new meaning and menace. On one occasion her voice is manipulated to sound like a man. Here the abuse that the protagonist has received is given an almost physical presence in the room. The result is that the words are given a body and this body is big, powerful and determined to take up as much space as possible.

Urielle Klein-Mekongo is a bold and talented performer. With Yvette she has tackled important issues with heart and passion. The endearing quality of her vocals and the sheer talent in her performance makes Yvette a special and brilliant show that is powerful and compelling to experience.