Rifling through a series of Hallmark cards that don’t (but really should) exist, Some Kind of Weasel looks at the irritations of life’s expectations – particularly for women. From inopportune baby showers and disappointments in relationships to the treasure trove of insults and indignation that is a career in theatre, this show hits home for many but hits harder with laughs.
Relentless, Some Kind of Weasel moves at an incredible pace: even when slowing for emphasis there’s an onslaught of sentiment or humour. Splicing in segments of failed dates, the humour ripples throughout the production that attests to writer and performer Jenny Stafford’s control and timing. By the end of the 35 minute run, audiences will find themselves desperately trying to catch their breath.
Stafford ties the show into our culture and how childhood stories -chiefly Disney films- seemingly teach that life ends after marriage, with matrimony being the ‘happily ever after’. So, what about women who have moved past their ‘shelf life’, and those who don’t want children but find themselves invited to baby showers and to be bridesmaids? Unsurprisingly, there’s a profoundly genuine element to Stafford’s writing, which is cut-throat in how open the flow of communication feels.
Much of the script’s blunt wording seeks not to throw up smoke and mirrors but directly confront – not only issues, but the excuses made of our insecurities, mistakes, and choices in life. Reinvigorating, Stafford’s stance to stop waiting for theoretical signs and push forward is the backbone of the production, and both Penny Cole’s direction and Sarah Johnston’s dramaturgy refrain from injecting excess in what is an otherwise well made piece.
Some Kind of Weasel tells an undoubtedly feminist story, and Stafford’s writing extends beyond familiar narratives, not only deconstructing the dangers of stories which pit women against one another but examines why these stories prevail.
Reminding us that there’s nothing wrong with being a weasel sometimes (we can’t all be gazelles) and ending on a bittersweet note, the production embraces experiences and failures alike. It encourages us to salute ourselves on achievements – whether that’s having a baby, volunteering, or even getting a divorce. Most importantly though, it reminds us to congratulate ourselves on doing whatever we want – and surviving.