Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

Sonnet Youth is a regular spoken word and performance night in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Cat Hepburn is one of the co-founders and she is responsible for bringing many talented and diverse voices to the stage in Scotland and beyond. Cat is presenting her own solo show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that looks at themes of identity, femininity, masculinity, friendship and millennial angst.

Cat Hepburn is an energetic and inspiring performer and sets a buoyant and joyful tone from the start. She wears a Spice Girls t-shirt and enters the stage infused with energy. Pop music plays a major role throughout #Girlhood with short snippets of songs breaking up the poetry and references to Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé setting the mood. #Girlhood is a spoken word storytelling show about misadventures and growing up in Glasgow in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Tales of drunken holidays, nightclubs and music festivals are presented with passion and insight. Each story is delivered with evocative words that show the awkwardness and anxiety of being a women young and whilst looking for excitement and belonging. What makes #Girlhood an important performance though is that Cat pushes these themes further and looks beyond the unease that lies on the surface. She investigates the implications of personal anxiety and how these situations allow men to thrive and women to struggle against forceful toxic masculinity. 

The conclusion of #Girlhood highlights the need to find friendship. It shows how a support network of people you trust can make life worth living and improve your mental health, despite the pressures of the unpredictable world we live in. This is what makes #Girlhood a bold and exciting performance from an excellent poet and an important voice in spoken word.