Tuesday, 8 March 2016

REVIEW - A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing, Young Vic


ADAPTING an award winning novel for the stage must be a bit of a scary thing to do. Will you do it justice, will the audience like it and what will the author make of it. Then of course there is the process itself.
These questions might well have been pondered upon by Annie Ryan when she set about adapting Eimear McBride’s acclaimed debut novel A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing.
Her version, now on at the Young Vic is really quite faithful to the original and is brought to life by actress Aoife Duffin.
It is an intense piece of theatre but that's what you would expect given the book is about life, death, abuse, sex, drugs, religion, family and rape.
The story tells of the Girl and her relationship with her brother whose battle with a brain tumour he has as a child and that eventually kills him overshaddows her life.
In a bid to come to terms with it her life spirals out of control. She becomes a target of abuse by her creepy and predatory uncle and religious fervour from her mother.
Even leaving home is fraught and she regularly finds herself in less than safe situations, waking up in strangers' beds after a night of drink and sex. In short, her life is painful and she does not seem able to escape it.
It is a gripping production. Aoife Duffin is astonishing in her portrayal and inhabits all the characters within the story on the dimly lit stage brilliantly.
It is an intimate portrayal of a damaged soul with the words spilling out of her mouth like a stream of consciousness, all the while chopping and changing the characters.
At times shocking and uncomfortable viewing, at others it's laugh out loud funny, it gives an insight into the thoughts and feelings of the Girl who we see grow from child to woman.

A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing is on at the Young Vic, The Cut, Waterloo until Saturday, March 26. Tickets from £10. Visitwww.youngvic.org or call the box office on 020 7922 2922.

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