Described as ‘a dark comedy’, Shower Scene by Bristol circus artiste – Chloe Mantripp – is a bold and innovative idea, but after fifty minutes the performer ultimately fails to convince us of the veracity of her character and narrative.
The show starts promisingly, and, standing alone on a dimly lit set, Mantripp appears soaking wet and takes on the character of a mentally fragile sex worker who apparently likes to shower in a leotard and swimsuit and has a revulsion to bodily functions in general and her own epidermis in particular. However, the performance starts to falter about fifteen minutes into the show. Mantripp breaks her own flow continually by breaking into dance or physical movement interludes rather than sticking to what should be starkly dramatic realisation. Rather than adding to the dramatic effect of what is otherwise an interesting train of thought, this comes across as simply irritating and reminiscent of a somersaulting five-year-old rather than the talented physical performer that Mantripp obviously is.
There are a lot of interesting spoken word pieces contained within which would go down exceptionally well at poetry nights, and a really good original song about Hannibal the Cannibal, but what it feels like we’re being presented with here is a first draft or scratch night production. The entire piece would really benefit from a rewrite to allow the performer to put over her message in a clearer and more concise manner, plus integrate her impressive physical action into her spoken script.
The show blurb that describes Mantripp’s character as an ‘anarchic indomitable heroine’, a description that is easy to agree with, and, while it is abundantly clear that this performer has talent, her script currently lacks discipline and renders her show just a tad self-indulgent.