Reviewed by Gregor Collins
As an acute theatregoer I can’t help but form impetuous assessments about if what I’m being given in the very first moment feels “put on” or forced—in Colette Forde’s one-woman-play Innit, coming all the way from Ireland’s Limerick Fringe Festival to the Soho Playhouse from July 6 to August 5, there was, from my perspective, no deficiency of authenticity.
And Forde’s talent as an actor was cemented when her endearing grit kept circling around my head on the way home.
After beginning the show with footage of an arbitrary, irreverently sexualized music video set in a dingy warehouse starring Forde as the petulant Kelly Roberts, Roberts walks out from behind the video screen and bellows to the audience in her hard-nosed Irish brogue: “What am I doin’ ere’? Do I look like I need to see a psychiologist?”
The rest of the 55-minute play, set in 1990’s Manchester, chronicles a single session at her school’s “psychiologist” office, using us, the audience, to spew profanity-laced polemics about heartless classmates and boyfriends, her inattentive father, and her audacious mother who does absolutely horrible things like not even let her get her belly button pierced. In Roberts, Forde has crafted a kind of female Holden Caulfield, dramatizing her isolating teenage years with rebellious charm.
Forde also penned the script, which never really fully took us on the rollercoaster ride we wanted, and, aside from the final, affecting moments, we pined for more poignancy to offset the often one-note, acidic rants. In the end, though, Forde’s formidable stage presence made it worth the trip. I wouldn’t be surprised if headlining an Oscar-nominated indie film were in her future.
While touring Innit, Forde is writing another one-woman show, and going back to college in September to study ‘Youth and Community Work’.
Innit plays now through August 5, 2018 at Soho playhouse 15 Vandam St https://colette-forde.squarespace.com/.