Shower Scene (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Shower Scene

Circus-trained Chloe Mantripp's solo turn as an oddball sex worker

Trained in contemporary circus and physical theatre, Bristol-based Chloe Mantripp has devised a small yet ambitious, intermittently engaging oddity of a solo show for herself.

Her character, a self-described guilty-faced 'li'l oik' of a sex worker who specialises in bad accents, occupies a cage-like scaffolding structure with a paddling pool at the base – there to catch water from the hanging bag that serves as the titular shower. If the scaffold is slightly unstable then so is this idiosyncratic young woman who regales us with tales of old johns, plucks condoms out of her hair and worries about the spores and parasites that might inhabit her body.

As she's a big talker it's fortunate that some of Mantripp's writing is vivid. Meanwhile as a performer Mantripp cultivates a sparky, endearing edge. She's game, sure, but little of her mainly functional movement is interesting. Maybe she's trying to keep it real and thus resist over-stylising the performance. At the same time she sidesteps plumbing the implied depths of her initial confessional premise, settling instead for messy, ultimately unshaped humour.

This rather rudderless show lacks resonance. It's as if Mantripp doesn't quite know how to best serve her own talent. But at least she plainly has some.

ZOO Playground, until 26 Aug, 5.45pm, £8 (£6).

Shower Scene

  • 3 stars

Chloe Mantripp Sex work, madness and climate change. A dark comedy. Physical theatre, storytelling and jet black humour, told by an anarchic indomitable heroine. 'Mantripp knows how to balance, and she does so skillfully on many levels' ★★★★ (Fest, 2017). 'A surprising treat of one-woman character theatre…