EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Tits ‘n’ Teeth

at Underbelly Bristo Square

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Startling, provocative one-woman-play tackles weighty issues with darkly comic undertones.

Image of Tits ‘n’ Teeth

Tits ‘n’ Teeth sounds like it could be a risqué cabaret show or an hour of rude stand-up, but is in fact a rich, provocative and darkly comic one-woman show from playwright and performer Isla Van Tricht, which considers the objectification of women, self-loathing, harassment and consent.

The play, directed by Rosa Crompton, takes place over the course of a single day in the life of Eve, a 20-something IT worker in London. Van Tricht is instantly engaging, making eye contact with the audience as she speaks, and narrates her encounters in a calm, conversational manner. Early in the action we are also introduced to Karen, the judgemental voice who lives inside Eve’s head. Eve’s therapist told her client to name the self-critical, bitchy inner monologue so she could tell it to “fuck off” and she does, often to comic effect.

As the day unfolds we discover more about Eve’s childhood, her experiences in a toxic girls’ school environment and how she copes with being the only woman in a blokey office – where objectification of female colleagues is the norm. We find out that Eve is meeting her old friend Tim later; they haven’t seen each other in five or six years and she’s excited and nervous – even though she’s adamant this is not a date.

Throughout the day, we bear witness to a series of microagressions in action, something that will feel sickeningly familiar to many women. Van Tricht’s performance is flawless and she portrays Eve as a likeable, vulnerable character who can appear outwardly brave, while internally terrified. Under Crompton’s direction simple lighting chances indicate a change of environment which are effective and unobtrusive to the performance.

Getting ready to meet Tim, Eve wonders what he remembers of “that night” and it transpires that Eve lost her virginity to Tim. During their meeting it becomes clear that Tim has a very different perspective on what happened that night to Eve and when the issue of consent is raised Tim becomes uncomfortable and then angry. The conversation that takes place along with Eve (and Karen’s) inner dialogue packs a powerful emotional punch. We witness the affecting aftermath of the meeting and Eve’s desperation for peace from Karen, even appealing to a higher power to help her.

Van Tricht’s closing monologue is moving, inspiring and empowering and leaves the audience on a high. Whilst Eve’s day may seem unrealistically dramatic for some, it’s a relatable, lived experience for women every day. While themes of harassment, sexual assault and misogyny may make for uncomfortable viewing for some, Tits ‘n’ Teeth is an important production that will likely start many important conversations with the audience members who are lucky enough to see it.