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BWW Review: NARCISSIST IN THE MIRROR, VAULT Festival

BWW Review: NARCISSIST IN THE MIRROR, VAULT Festival BWW Review: NARCISSIST IN THE MIRROR, VAULT Festival

A dressing room of a West End theatre. Narcissus is putting makeup on as she starts to talk to a therapist of sorts who's sitting, in her mind, in a corner.

Rosie Fleeshman's Narcissist in the Mirror turns the popular Greek myth into a millennial epic of love addiction, neurosis, and existential anxiety. Terrified of failing, she bares her insecurity telling her life-story from competing with her sister for their mother's attention - only after the parent's expressed preference for their brother had been made clear - to the struggles of finding a job after drama school.

Little by little, Fleeshman strips her gaze of all her boldness and bite. "I just want people to love me" she confesses, and the whole persona she's put on for the audience crumbles down altogether. Self-doubt and the clash between what she'd dreamed of and reality turn the monologue into an introspective reflection of the pressures of modern society.

The text is lyrical and ripe with metaphors, constituting a genuine linguistic success for the writer, who infuses her script with prose poetry and vivid imagery. As directed by Sue Jenkins, she is shouty and properly obnoxious in her vanity trip, before dialing down and coming back to earth to reveal her true colours.

A piece which uncovers a black hole of vulnerability, dread, and the fear of insignificance, Narcissist in the Mirror is a blunt tale delivered with indiscreet honesty.

Narcissist in the Mirror runs at VAULT Festival until 3 March.


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