Made in China‘s Tonight I’m Gonna Be the New Me concentrates on the idea of compromise, and how we constantly find ourselves adapting, even changing to keep the peace within a relationship. Love is a competition, a battle, tranquility, drama… an absolute kaleidoscope of ideas. But how does this complicated emotion manifest itself within this production?
Jessica Latowicki takes her place centre stage, ready for the showdown to commemce. Abstract choreography greets the audience as the house lights dim. Latowicki leads a raucous procession of jerky, aerobic-esque movements, the audience beginning to question the intent behind the action. Boxed in by Emma Bailey‘s cubed set design, Latowicki appears encased into a reality we are yet to discover. Could the staging be symbolic of Latowicki battle with keeping as much of herself as possible within her relationship? Could the staging be a representation of her state of mind? Could the staging represent the gold fish bowl effect; that feeling of constantly being observed and judged by others? The staging immediately conjurs up a sense of mystery; questions building as Latowicki continues with her physical language, although speechless, is loud in its intent.
Conventions explored within the piece are to be admired. The constant breaking of the fourth wall keeps the audience on their toes, the thought of potentially being asked on to the stage, or being asked to move to another part of the theatre constantly plays at the back of my mind, however Latowicki playfully passes the parcel of panic around the room but quickly brings it back with a cheerful ‘only joking’. Not only does she speak, and orchestrate certain members to answer back on rhetorical questions she has asked, she also has a dialogue with Tim (Cowbury), whom she has co-written the piece with. The duo depict a bickering couple who don’t quite seem to be on the same page. Tim’s dry delivery is Initially brilliant, he offers a comical juxtapose to Latowicki’s expressive nature, adding a sense of fun to the production. This convention of the pair engaging in a dialogue is playful, however I’m left not fully connecting with both characters.
The show challenges tradition, making it unique in its own right. The movement sequences and narrative feel disjointed. I question whether I am watching 2 different shows. The conventions used feel superior to the narrative itself, and I’d like in the future to feel invested in both characters. The theme of love presents itself subtly, however it needs to mark a stronger presence. 3/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Tonight I’m Gonna Be The New Me is currently showing at the Soho Theatre until Saturday 26th September. For more information on the production, visit here…