The Girl's Guide to Saving the World (highTide Festivl, Halsworth
Feminism? Pre-feminism? Post-feminism? Where is "The Girl's Guide to Saving the World" supposed to be taking us?
Two young women have been friends for a long time. They're not completely happy – well, who is? Jane is in a relationship with Toby. Mind you, he's not the strongest of characters. Bella has had an idea about a blog which might (could) revolutionise the way women (and men) think about each other.
Initially, Jane is enthusiastic. But home life intrudes. Where Bella sees potential in the hate-mail the blog earns, Jane can only visualise the horrendous abuse and threats as something which destroys, not creates.
If Toby is prepared to throw up his teaching job on a whim but cannot bring himself to take their cat to the vet for the necessary feline euthanasia, who in this particular relationship takes the lead? and then shoulders its aftermath?
The ideas embedded in Elinor Cook's script are well served by her words and the actors – Jade Williams as Jane, Ben Lambert as Toby and Georgina Strawson as Bella – all give committed performances.
The production by Amelia Sears has a fidgety set by Jamie Vartan whose sparseness belies the amount of furniture-shifting the cast has to do. That shifty lighting comes into its own towards the end.
I wanted to be engaged with the characters. I wanted to feel for their dilemmas, their traumas, their sense of trying to re-create a carefree past in an altogether more dangerous and unstable present, let alone the future. I admire the skill. I'm afraid that I remain disengaged.
The Girl'e Guide to Saving the World runs at the HighTide Festival, Halesworth until 19 April.