An hour with an idiosyncratic artist and tales from her journeys
This article is from 2013.
A solo show that sits comfortably as both theatrical monologue and variety show – Lea McGowan is as adept at acrobats as acting out episodes from her biography – Now Leasing is a cheerful canter through the life of an artist. While she doesn't handle the audience participation entirely successfully, she reveals a range of skills - the Chinese Silks are expertly used, her brief dances illustrate her anecdotes precisely – and her tales of ballet training and emotional growth appeal to a more universal conflict between hope and reality.
Much of the show’s charm is in McGowan’s charisma: her fantasies, which include being a unicorn and a successful dancer, are idiosyncratic but reflect her optimistic ambitions. Each scene is clearly divided, from her initial appearance as her older self with memories to spare to her detours into dream worlds, with a clear message and narrative line.
Now Leasing is uncomplicated fun and a peek into the life of the artist that does not get lost in grand statement. It is a showcase for both MacGowan’s skills and the possibilities for using physical theatre and cabaret for a strong story-telling session.
CNova, 0845 260 1234, until 26 Aug, 3.35pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£6.50–£8.50)