Saturday, 30 November 2019

THEATRE REVIEW: How To Be Amazingly Happy - Waterside, Sale, Greater Manchester.


Victoria Firth brings us an amusing and vibrant one woman show, asking her audience to consider what happiness is and whether it is something that can be found in a pair of running shoes or at the bottom of a lemon drizzle cake. Firth invites us into her world with real honesty and insight by muddling her way through different activities in a desperate attempt to find happiness. She begs the question, is happiness achieved by outside forces, or can it be found within ourselves?

Her Miranda Hart-esque one hour performance invited audience participation from the onset, allowing her viewers to be completely comfortable and involved. This worked well. However, it must be said, Victoria Firth did well to ignore and at times include and use the comments from the audience that were given at inappropriate times. By diverging from the script at times to relate to the audience, Firth’s show reminded me of a stand-up comedy routine.

Firth is clearly a great comic actress; using movement, language, word cards and voice to tell her story that had me and many other audience members crying with laughter. Her performance was very animated and farcical, clearly a deliberate choice to represent her determination to be happy at whatever costs.

This comedy was contrasted with personal moments of loss and heartbreak. These were given to us in a whispered voice-over whilst Firth sat silently in a very dim light. This lack of movement was resounding as it contrasted so highly with the vibrant and enthusiastic scenes in which we see Firth running across the stage and dancing to upbeat pop music.

This well-written piece of theatre is clearly a passion project for Firth, and that really showed as she threw her whole being into the performance to give us an unforgettable experience. Firth may have been stretching the truth at times, but we can easily forgive her for that as the audience were so invested in the show and her quest for happiness.

Reviewer - Megan Relph
on - 29/11/19

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