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There Was a Little Girl at Camden People’s Theatre

I was taken through Millie Wood-Downie’s musical and interactive gender journey in the hilarious one-woman show There was a Little Girl. As you move through Millie’s different phases toward the hopeful discovery of her identity. Thanks to Jac Cooper there are great original songs, my favorite was Geezer Bird, and compilations of the 90s and 2000s hits that played at the beginning and were used to transition between scenes. Which provided a boost in spirits when you first walked in.

THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL. Photo credit Liv Lynch.
THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL. Photo credit Liv Lynch.

Millie starts the show with a voiceover where she makes it clear that this show is not like any other show. Throughout my travels through Millie’s life, I got to meet Millie’s alter ego, Michael, and it was interesting to see how Michael played a form in all different phases of her life, from monkey bar obstacle courses to beer chugging contests in Cancun.

Michael is only one of the elements that are used to completely transport you into Millie’s mind. Also included are voiceovers from Millie’s mother, and old commercial footage woven in with home videos to introduce and elaborate on different developments towards her identity. With the aid of incredible direction by Grace Church, Milly uses all these elements to her full advantage and matches the high-quality editing with a confident, fluid performance. It is obvious Wood-Downie is comfortable on stage, this is what brings together the whole show. You are truly intrigued by her as a person.

I was left with no conclusion on Millie’s gender identity, but I think that is what makes it great, it’s realistic. In a world where it is now much more encouraged to be introspective about gender lots of young people are left with lots of unanswered questions. And this show was just so much fun! Millie knows how to put on a show, and it was refreshing to laugh about gender confusion.

Since it is often a topic that can bring up lots of sadness, and I at least have not been exposed to performances about gender that leave me laughing. There Was A Little Girl is a great night out, and I would love to see what great project Millie creates next because her talent is impeccable.

4 stars

Review by Elisabeth Beer

Millie is not like other girls.
In fact, ever since she was little she actively traded in her fairy tales for mud, cut off all her golden ringlets and created her alter-ego, Michael (an absolute legend with the best banter). She’s about to learn what it really means to be one of lads, whilst she explores and subverts the insidious roots of gender stereotypes, turning what she thought she knew on its head. Join Millie (and Michael, of course) as they battle against the assumptions of their former selves, when being ‘not like other girls’ is not all that it seems.

Part quest, part drag, part bingo, this multifaceted one person show strives to find a new approach to gender discourse. A witty, unflinching & truthful insight into growing up opposing the female narrative covered in 90s/00s nostalgia galore.

Supported by Arts Council England.

Creative Team
Created & Produced by Millie Wood-Downie (she/her)
Directed by Grace Church (she/her)
Set & Costume Designer: Daisy Blower (she/her)
Lighting Designer: Amy Daniels (she/her)
Sound Designer: Liv Lynch (she/her)
Associate Sound Designer: Oli Samways (he/him)
Video Designer: Emily Badescu (she/her)
Song Composer: Jac Cooper (he/him)
Producing Consultant: Beth Sitek (she/they)
Technical Stage Manager: Amy Daniels (she/her)
Poster Artwork: Gem D’Souza (she/her)
Marketing: Cup of Ambition

Fri 9 Dec – Sat 10 Dec 2022

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