Sam Edwards and Lisa-Marie Hoctor are Mighty Heart, and it’s an appropriate name for a theatre company that can produce a show of such warmth and compassion. This is verbatim theatre doing what it always should – giving voice to those who often just aren’t heard. And in this case, these voices belong to the self-identifying women who’ve been anonymously surveyed to find out how they feel about their bodies.
And, God, we live in fucked-up times. Why do so many women struggle to accept themselves? These stories are heartbreaking in their ordinariness; there’s something here that every woman can relate to, I am sure. And it’s a crying bloody shame. Mind you, it’s not just for women. Philip is a man and he enjoyed it too.
Sam and Lisa are delightful performers, perfect conduits for these tales. They treat each one with humour and respect, affording a real dignity to those who have dared to share.
The stories are nicely balanced, from the detailed account of a Scouse girl’s make up regime to the determined positivity of a bowel cancer survivor; from anorexia to obesity. ‘A real woman is actually just a woman,’ is a line that stays with me. ‘It’s just a woman.’
And this production shows that, you know, we’re probably all okay. And we’d probably all be even better if we could stop worrying about what we look like – stop googling Kim Kardashian fat – and start wearing sparkly capes and dancing to Stevie Nicks whenever we feel crap.