26 May 2010 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews New York based performer and co-founder of the Split Britches Theatre Company, Peggy Shaw, has brought her latest show to Manchester as part of the Queer Up North International Festival. Shaw is renowned for her gender-bending autobiographical work and MUST – The Inside Story continues that trend. It is a monologue about her life, from her mother's electro-shock treatment in the 50s, through giving birth on her way to the Woodstock Festival in 1969, to living now as a 65 year old lesbian grandmother. Shaw paints images of her existence through her words, which are at times enhanced by the projected backdrop of photographs of the body; or for one part, a short animation. She opens the lid on thoughts which most people would not give voice to. Shaw partially strips to allow the anatomical imagery to be projected onto her own body as well, using this to increase the graphic nature of the scene. The starkness of her performance is emphasised by the dramatic and excellent musical accompaniment from a trio of musicians consisting of a violin, a double bass and a piano. The music, written by Paul Clarke, is more of an additional experience than a backing to the speech. The set is a bare stage - apart from the musicians and from Shaw herself, who is lit only by spotlights - but this accentuates the visuals both on the stage and in the imagination of the audience. Shaw and her co-writer Suzi Willson of Clod Ensemble have created a show that is neither play nor performance art, but it is not lacking in drama or emotion. At a mere 45 minutes long, MUST will not give you a full night out, but it is a production well worth seeing; as it makes the audience consider, not only the life of Peggy Shaw, but also how the matters she discusses might impact upon themselves. Original and thought-provoking. - Helen Jones Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...