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An Evening with Savvy B is refreshing and vigorous

Hannah WalkerI shall be brief, for An Evening with Savvy B is brief. With tabloid newspapers perennially exposing the horrors of people on the streets of Britain’s high streets, drinking themselves to excess and beyond, this show provides a perspective from the ‘other’ side of the coin. It’s a world in which no harm is intended, or indeed committed, at least not beyond anything self-inflicted, and this one-woman show contains probably the very best repeated breaching of the fourth wall I’ve ever come across.

It’s a show to be enjoyed on more than one level, and if the ramblings and giggling fits of Hannah Walker’s ‘friend’, the said Savvy B (as in Sauvignon Blanc, for the record), depicted through a video projection, aren’t your cup of tea (or rather, ahem, glass of wine), there’s the details about miscellaneous wines, their history and various other facts, and a comprehensive guide to wine tasting. The salient points of this ‘how to’ session are remarkably memorable, mostly through the use of alliteration.

Beyond this, this short production is peppered with personal anecdotes told in an engaging manner. Though I very rarely drink to excess myself, there was still a lot that I could relate to in the depiction of step changes in behaviour, even if this is largely through the observance of others. It takes some skill to portray the antics that go on when painting the town red and still have the audience feel as comfortable as they did before the show started – this show does just that with flair and confidence.

There’s a considerable amount of laugh-out- loud humour. Part of this is down to Walker’s textbook delivery of even the most banal of lines. The choreography, strictly speaking, is all over the place. But in context, it is totally in keeping with the play. The pacing is varied, but in a good way – there’s a naturalistic feel to this production, and just like a good night out itself, there are ebbs and flows in the proceedings.

I felt the show ended a tad too soon. But I am a great believer in leaving the audience wanting more instead of even risking outstaying one’s welcome. Paradoxically, though, I found myself wanting the show to end even whilst I was enjoying it, so I could indulge in the sort of fun times the show celebrates by heading for the nearest wine bar.

This show is rather like sauvignon blanc: refreshing and vigorous.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

An Evening with Savvy B takes a darkly comic look at why we drink and what it takes to sparkle.
Featuring: live drinking, the re-release of a single that I made when I was sixteen (and thought was really good) and a hearty mouthful of public shaming, An Evening with Savvy B promises to be the BEST NIGHT EVER.

Co-written by Hannah Walker and director Rosa Postlethwaite. A funny, touching and raucous one-woman show about Sauvignon Blanc, selective memory and self-image. It incorporates film elements with live performance and draws on autobiographical material to create a show that invites conversation around the social issues of drinking.
Weds 21st – 22nd Thurs September 2016
http://www.theatren16.co.uk/

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