EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: BEACH BODY READY, THE ROARING GIRLS, Pleasance Courtyard
Beach Body Ready is an empowering, celebratory piece of theatre, combating body shaming and delving into weight pressures.
We meet Josie, Rachael and Sarah, who are taking their bodies to the beach. They reflect on how much fun the beach was as a child, and how our perception changes as an adult, making the beach a fearful environment - namely because there is nowhere to hide in swimwear.
The Roaring Girls are incredibly likeable and open, and each tells a heart-breaking personal tale of their relationship with their bodies.
There are uplifting choreographed dance and fitness moments, bringing tangible joy to the audience, with a real vibe of the This Girl Can campaign, but "Chub rub is real". A handout is distributed endorsing charities Mind, Beat, Seed and the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), highlighting the difficulties.
The set is glorious fun, featuring a colourful beach hut, striped bunting, a Nemo float, and doughnut and watermelon floatation rings. All these elements are instantly recognisable and transport us to holiday mode. There are visual aids in the form of comedic film clips, where we get an insight into everyday female battles. The soundtrack features uplifting tracks from Lizzo and melancholy songs like Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness".
The girls share their expert knowledge, advising not to dip celery in Nutella, to avoid the cabbage soup diet and dodge meal replacement shakes: "They taste like powder and parma violets!". They also seriously lament the years of reinforced self-hatred, blocking their confidence to achieve anything desired. Positively, each girl makes pledges for the future and reflects on their achievements, urging the audience to follow suit.
Beach Body Ready is a breath of fresh air and should be required watching for all.
Catch it at the Pleasance Courtyard until 26 August: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Beach%20Body%20Ready%22