FRINGE 2020: Gobby – Gluttony – 4K

In Britain, a ‘gobby’ is a loudmouth, someone who talks – a lot. Bri has been a gobby her whole life, and never found standing up for herself an issue. Next thing she knows, she’s in an emotionally abusive relationship with someone who isolates her from her friends and makes her feel at her lowest. When they break up, Bri finds it difficult to reintegrate with the people she used to hang out with, and finds that it’s easier said than done.

A play in five parties, Bri tells the story of her reinvention through five separate parties – some she’s hosted, some she’s attended, and some she’s been the core focus of (and not in ways she wants). We see the long-term effects of the abuse, and how the way she perceives herself isn’t they way everyone else does. And, ultimately, we see how she comes out the other side, with greater clarity and self-awareness.

Jodie Irvine has written an engaging, poignant piece of theatre. Irvine also stars and Bri, and is magnetic on stage. She captures Bri’s gobby-ness, her kindness, and most importantly, her fragility. Gobby wouldn’t have worked with an actor who couldn’t portray the shift between confidence and self-consciousness, positivity and negativity; thankfully, we have Irvine, who never struggles here. Another positive about Gobby is that Irvine and SA production company Hey Boss do their best to provide a safe space for this conversation to happen, which is incredibly important given the subject matter.

The play itself would have benefitted with a bit more backstory about the relationship – traumas are alluded to, and would certainly be familiar to people who have experienced similar scenarios, but it would have been worthwhile expanding on Bri’s ex-partner and their relationship together. Viewers who haven’t experienced emotional abuse themselves may not be able to fully comprehend the brevity of the situation – although, really, can anyone?

Gobby is a beautiful piece of theatre, helmed by a charming and engaging star, which is vital viewing in our current time.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

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