Gravity Guts is an endearing confession of youthful anxiety. Looking into the mind of a clumsy, excitable protagonist named Sophie, this show feels like midnight at a sleepover, when confessions fly out with ease and we can share innocently our questions about the world. It explores huge questions of intergalactic belonging, all that we look up to and “how do you find a voice in a vacuum?”
Supported by an 11 woman strong ensemble, Emily McKnight is charming as Sophie and bumbles delightfully through the extensive poetic monologue. Her performance and the text both exuded curiosity and a feeling of being overwhelmed. The supporting ensemble compliment this with their stone-faced strength, reassuring the validity of all the character feels as they react to and embody all of Sophie’s running thoughts.
The ensemble wears all black, exclaim in unison, scream often and pretend to be robots. It’s a style that reminded me of high school drama class and at times lacked nuance or depth. Where the text was detailed and abundant with imagery, the physical adaptation was nearing one-dimensionality. The action, however, was boisterous and striking. The large size of the ensemble meant that their powerful voices roared together.
The monologue style scripting was endearing and personal. There’s generosity in the playwright’s autobiography. But as we wandered through each corner of her mind, there wasn’t much offered in the way of mystery. I often felt my engagement be challenged. What’s most valuable about this show is its testimony to youth, to that feeling of having the weight of the world on your shoulders and having so much to say about everything. I think this show would be extremely compatible to a teenage audience (especially of girls) because it is relatable and is also encouraging. It holds a flag for self-affirmation, resilience and determination, even when it feels like the world is falling apart. If anyone needs to see this show, it’s young girls. The show is one of the few I’ve seen that represents all I felt alone for going through at that age and does so with celebration.
Gravity Guts plays at the Erskineville Town Hall until the 14th of September as a part of the Sydney Fringe Festival.
Directed by Erica Lovell