BWW Review: BIG, VAULT Festival
Fat Girl (Erin Gill) is in love with Pizza (Geraint Rhys). Her fatphobic Mother (Vaani K Sharma) signs her up for a reality show with the aim of losing weight, where she meets Hot Boy (Ewan Pollitt), an entitled D-list celebrity.
Written by Urvashi Bohra and directed by Georgia Leanne Harris, Big is a brief and simple play about a girl's (literal) relationship with food. The company embraces a surreal approach to the subject, but unfortunately only scrape the basic and obvious surface of the issue.
Projected titles set the scenes in a relatively humorous way, inviting the audience to use their imagination to cope with the lack of scenery. By doing this, however, they highlight the absence of a strong directive angle that makes the whole production look quite amateur.
Bohra's script is unpretentious and clear, but remains elemental in its reflection. Society implies that Fat Girl isn't beautiful because she's got some extra weight, while Pizza accepts her for who she is. When she's out and about she keeps hearing voices in her head (in the form of voiceovers here) who tell her that she's not good enough and everyone hates.
Then, her Mother decides to take the lead and force her into a humiliating (although this side of it isn't really shown much) televised process because she hates the fact that her daughter is fat. Subsequently, Fat Girl realises that she doesn't have to change what she looks like to feel accepted: she actually likes herself as she is and becomes a beacon of body positivity to her online following while Hot Guy is left without a show.
While Big isn't an exceptional project, it highlights the notion that in a world where corporations exploit women's inclination to modify their bodies in order to fit into the perfect model approved by the media, the greatest act of rebellion is loving oneself. It's a shame that we don't get to see Fat Girl make this groundbreaking statement on stage rather than having to draw the connection ourselves later.