Pondling has returned. This remarkable piece was a huge success during the Fringe Festival and is now back in Smock Alley Theatre to make us laugh, sigh, hold our breath and cry out again, to go on the journey led by a young and witty heart.
Setting of the stage is a rather simple one, but you don’t desire more with already wonderful Smock Alley’s Boys School’s decorum and incredible acting of Genevieve Hulme Beaman. Audience gets introduced to a charismatic young lady and her immediate environment so eloquently described by thy performer. She is charming, elegant, smart and everything that a young girl can possibly be. Love is on her mind and in the centre of everything she does. Do you remember your first love? It’s so beautiful, innocent, romantic. The heart is full of dreams, France, wine, elegance, stars and happy ever after. Red convertible and make-up to top the cake in this case. These are all future plans, for now though there is a farm, chickens, second hand shop, cows, annoying brother, cans, daisy chains and a pond. And shiny black shoes, the dearest treasure of all.
So much to be done before everything is going to happen and smart little girl knows she has to work hard to get what she wants – a boy by the name Johno. She finds a workout video and follows the example of a woman leading a class. She makes the best of everything available to her – lifting stones, catching cats, jumping over fences and streching, streching, streching. Getting fit to charm an older boy she’s in love with is not an easy task. But how do you get yourself noticed? Arrange accidental meetings in the shop where he buys his cigarettes every Friday? Try to catch his eye at school? Become more beautiful and elegant than his current long armed girlfriend? It’s all a yes in her head.
Role model is something a young soul always seeks, at times perhaps only subconsciously. Genevieve’s character finds one in a persona of a woman with sparkling appearance, a mother of beady eyed little girl, she met on a playground. The plan is instantly ready – they have to become friends. Not with the daughter, but with the mother. And she knows that a path to a mother’s heart lies through the daughter, so an effort is made and oh miracle! she gets invited to the house, where is the magical en-suite room full of glitter and stardom (just some make-up really). It’s like a fairy land for a young mind. She dares to indulge herself in all available to her, of course without a permission of the owner. Oh, just how special she feels! However the higher you fly, the more painful is the fall. Her role model is mum not only to the beady eyed child. A family portrait has a third person in it – a long armed girlfriend of a beloved teenager our young friend is so in love with. Her delicate heart has now a crack in it. But there he is, the one she has put on the golden throne. His accidental appearance makes her heart beat faster. Can he heal her? Or is he going to shatter her even further? I’ll let you find out yourself.
Funny, emotional, witty, smart and all sorts of excellence – these are probably only few words that can partially describe the performance. A definite must see!
Runs in Smock Alley Theatre from 31st of March – 5th of April.
You can book tickets here