A not-quite-complete solo show seeking answers to women’s contemporary problems
This article is from 2013.
Although Cinderella Lives! takes the fairytale for inspiration, Aisling Kiely’s one-woman show is a thoroughly contemporary tale. It follows the adventures of Eve, a woman approaching thirty and wondering whether she can have it all, using Keily’s charismatic presence and snippets of burlesque dancing to pose questions about feminism in the twenty-first century.
The focus on the detail of Eve’s life, unfortunately, prevents the performance from developing its themes. There is a fascinating argument over whether the modern freedom of women is the product of feminist campaigning or capitalism’s need for a cheap workforce, but this is ultimately left unconcluded, as the narrative forces a happy ending onto the various conflicts. The thoughts on a woman’s role appear to be personal and Keily avoids making too many grand statements - it is a gentle hour, despite the revolutionary rhetoric of its introduction.
The script does feel a little fragmented - perhaps reflecting Eve’s experience - and the burlesque interludes are not quite fully formed. The production has the tone of a work in progress, as if Keily is slowly working out a way to express her intelligent observations. The lack of precision, both in the message and some of the monologues, makes the impact more thought-provoking than bracing. Keily is a charming performer and while Cinderella is not yet powerful, there is much potential in both the ideas and the execution.
Venue13, 07074 201313, until Aug 24, 8.15pm, £8 (£6)