Written and performed by rising talent Hannah Chalmers, this show has fast become a top-pick of the fringe and it’s easy to see why. Chalmers portrays a variety of characters with such precision and charm creating a show that is engaging and riveting throughout.
Stripped is essentially an expose of strip-clubs through the eyes of Baby, the newest and most naïve dancer on the block, or on the pole as it were. Believing the world to be “glamorous” and “empowering” she soon learns some hard truths about her new career and indeed herself.
The script is very well written, undulating between sharp and comic to moving and poignant. The characters, even though a few are somewhat stock, are also convincingly written and well varied. It could, however, have been nice to see a few more male customers bought to life by Chalmers. Having said that, it is an excellent example of observational theatre.
Chalmers is a brilliant comic actress and brings a sense of realism to all of the many characters she portrays. Impressively, she uses no props, relying on herself to depict what she interacts with. She could improve on the details of this though: tights that are being rolled up in her hands are forgotten about, nail-polish bottles move from one place to another without explanation cigarettes vanish. It is in these details that she will achieve the five stars that the piece really deserves. It’s smart, funny and interesting with a big old message under the surface.
Reviewed by Lizzie Edmonds 13/8/2010