Review: FAT

September 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

FAT Talking Shop Ensemble– (Players Theatre, Trinity College)

Actors: Aishing Byrne, Oonagh Murphy, Robbie Sinnott, Lisa Walsh

The revue investigates the narcissism of today’s wannabes on reality TV with a crazy wildness that hits the nail on the head. With facebook and gossip pages as a backdrop, five actors take turns to talk to the audience, hardly even acknowledging the others presence (it’s all about me, isn’t it?) There’s the girl with chocolate on her face, the girl in spanx, the guy at the  internet keyboard, the one who keeps filming himself, and the girls obsessed with fame & being watched (all the girls are blonde, which may or may not be deliberate) enticed by reality TV shows like How To Look Good Naked. Although it’s about weight and appearance I thought it also highlighted the search for attention encouraged by all reality shows and social media phenomenon.

Is FAT a feminist issue? FAT seems to be everyone’s issue-delving into the dangerous efforts people make to be thin, perfect, sexy, gorgeous, above all the efforts people make to get fame/attention, develop a persona,  and the hidden reality behind it- the self-criticism, vomiting, binging, isolation, mania. There’s a hilarious bit where the choc-face girl announces how she will be the one girl on O’Connell St who some random couple will notice and remember years from now! Yeah, right. The absurd part is that no-one would notice a girl on O’Connell St? But on the other hand long-legged Irish student Caoimhe Guilfoyle who appeared on Big Brother11 this year was scouted on Grafton St and subsequently developed the big head to go with it.

I love the part at the end where one of the girls opens the fridge on stage to reveal a big chocolate cake and everyone devours it, sad but true. Fame. As Julia Roberts‘ character  Anna (who claimed she had her nose and chin done for her career) says in Notting Hill, “The fame thing, it doesnt mean anything. It’s all nonsense, and nonsense it all is.”

The Talking Shop Ensemble’s blurb says that the show is about fat people on reality shows and how they are exploited. I got different impressions from the show, mainly because none of the actors appearing were overweight, so it seemed to have a more general ”perfectionism”  and attention-seeking slant. Worth seeing.

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