I Gave Him an Orchid begins with performer Sarah Calver walking onstage, picking up a carving knife and cutting up what appears to be a heart. This is then placed in a blender along with a banana and a fruit smoothie. From the get go it is obvious that this will be a performance about heartache, pain and the methods people undertake to cure a broken heart.
The performance follows two stories which intertwine with one another. We are told a modern day tale of Sarah who experiences lost love and the disappointment of breaking up with a partner. This story is delivered in parallel to the miraculous story of Sarah Henley. In 1885 she attempted suicide by throwing herself of a suspension bridge in Bristol. Due to the fact she was wearing a dress from that period, she accidentally performed a parachute trick and escaped with serious, but not life threatening injuries. She has survived but will modern day Sarah endure her heartache in 2015?
I Gave a Him an Orchid is a one woman show. The performer makes full use of the stage to bring the bright and engaging onstage character of Sarah to life. She strikes a bold pose and expresses a full array of emotion and turmoil. Dialogue and monologue are used to bring out the comedy of the story, as we learn about current day Sarah’s relationship with men and the tragic plight of 1885 Sarah Henley. The story of Henley seems the most visceral, however it is the one we get to know least.
I Gave Him an Orchid was an enjoyable hour, but it may have been a stronger performance if the historical element was explored more. Never the less, if you want to see heartache and emotion played out on stage then I Gave Him an Orchid will be the show for you.