A striking design concept and a story to match, Eve is a manifesto of pride which offers a queer reverence. Living as a woman or dying as a man is the decision that must be made and this is brought to fruition by playwright, performer, father and grandmother Jo Clifford.
Trapped in a horizontal timeline, Jo finds herself fleeting the silhouettes of who she is expected to be and questioning who she could be. Referencing the first born woman in its title, Eve is a statement on gendered status, with the show reflecting on the challenges and obstacles of coming out as a self identifying transexual. Beginning distant, Jo grows into the storytelling figure connecting and reflecting on her own personal history. With the theme of reflection the set includes three visual glass panels, used to project photography and catch reflections of the contemporary body, forcing the audience to see the duality of Jo’s life with a note to the genders she is expected to play.
In the intimate space we are immediately engaged in the solo performer dialogue, baring the story naked with a minimalistic set design and colour scheme. Sensitive lighting and a subtle soundtrack complete this show, enhancing the plot and all its vulnerabilities. The show has a calming tone, which is extended in Jo’s delivery. This comforts the audience and welcomes them to witness a story which is at times hard to hear. A gender specific story which features no pretentiousness, is refreshing and rare.
Eve questions ‘What it is to be human in times of revolutionary change?’ and in the height of political debate we are all searching for the answer. Eve reminds us that the journey towards our real selves is one we all need to make. Making her comeback, it feels like 50 years has given Jo clarity, her story has an arc and is delivered with balanced anger, empathy and charisma. I leave the production with a mind of photography and memories of an honest story. 3/5
Review written by Megan Mattravers.
Eve is currently showing at the Traverse Theatre until Sunday 27th August 2017 as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival. For more information on the production, visit here…
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