The Rebirth of Meadow Rain
- Claire Sawers
- 23 August 2019
Sad tale of fronting and loneliness
Hannah Moss has written a subtle sucker punch of a show, wrapped in a sugary coating, which begins by tricking its audience into a false sense of safety. The spoilers should probably end there, as the story of emotional abuse relies on manipulation, in this case, gently done with homemade pop-up books and cutesy party games.
The main character Meadow (coincidentally, in some lights Moss looks a bit like the actress, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Meadow from The Sopranos) is a Disney-loving girly girl, a romantic with a trusting heart, and a grinning people-pleaser with a motto of 'always be positive!'. Simpering and constantly apologising, she just wants to feel 'seen'. She lives in a child's world, and the simple set creates an innocent Enid Blyton backdrop.
The story examines femininity and female friendship too, forcing the audience to face that persistent, point-missing question when it comes to coercive control relationships: why didn't she just leave him? Then they backpedal through the story to realise why it's way more complicated. (Moss hands out cards for the brilliant Bright Sky phone app at the end of her show, which gives advice for friends and family of people who may be in abusive relationships too.)
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug, 1pm, £11 (£10).