When I Grow Up
Heartfelt piece of comedic theatre with plenty of chuckles along the way
This article is from 2013.
Juliette Burton asks the question of how our chosen professions contribute to our identities in this one-woman show about her not-always-successful career aspirations. Taking us back to her childhood with an aura of Crayola whimsy she walks us through her early intentions to become a ballerina, princess, muppet and other similarly well-laid plans, which work in counterpoint to her grimmer struggles later in life.
Supplementing her monologue is a multimedia chorus of talking heads riffing on the subject of jobs as well as charming illustrations and comedic sequences starring Burton, which display her remarkable fearlessness in pursuit of a punchline. These interludes allow for some of the funniest moments and contribute to a well-structured hour.
The framework allows Burton to travel through some serious issues with real feeling and, by balancing autobiography, gentle comedy and the social talking point of careers, achieves a powerful emotional pay-off. A warm and highly engaging performer, Burton gets the job done, with the result being less of an outright hilarity-fest and more a heartfelt piece of theatre with plenty of chuckles along the way.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 26 Aug (not 13), 1.15pm, £8–£9 (£7–£8).