Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh, until Sun 30 Aug @ 16:10

Poppy is a fourteen year old girl who is struggling to grow up in an all-girls high school. She has a motormouth and likes to gossip about her friends and school mates. Brute is the story of Poppy’s life as she prepares for her GCSE’s and combats problems were her mental health.

Brute is written and performed by the multi-talented Izzy Tennyson. Izzy is one of four recipients of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award. This prestigious group of theatre makers all have a show appearing the Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe. The performer has a background in poetry, spoken word, and stand up comedy, but it is her talent as a playwright that really makes Brute shine. Poppy is a typical young teenager, but her humorous and touching monologues are written and performed in a such a believable and visceral manner it is difficult not to marvel at the writing. Poppy is obsessed with the tribal nature of high school. She gossips over the ‘Comic Emo Fan Girl’s’ and talks endlessly about her friends Ashley, Danielle, Chloe and Emily. At times the show could easily come over as a teenage ramble, but the lines are delivered in a comedic tone that never feels contrived.

Brute takes on a high level of poignancy in the final third of the performance when Poppy discusses her depression and the problems she is experiencing. These issues go beyond the typical teenage turmoils and show that the protagonist is a multifaceted character with a lot to say. Izzy Tennyson is certainly a talented writer and performer and a worthy winner of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award.