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Review: Flush at Queen Victoria Women's Centre - Melbourne Fringe

Review by Jessica Flynn


"Flush," the brainchild of the multi-talented Isabella Gilbert, is an innovative and captivating performance that explores the intricate nuances of girlhood and dating through a combination of dance and spoken word comedy. Gilbert's unique approach to storytelling, marked by her witty humour and remarkable physicality, keeps the audience entertained from start to finish.

One of the standout features of "Flush" is the seamless integration of dance and spoken word. This fusion elevates the storytelling, offering a multi-dimensional experience that resonates with the audience on various levels. The choreography is a mesmerising display of skill and creativity, with Gilbert's movements perfectly synchronised with the narrative. This keeps the audience guessing her next move and hanging on every word/movement – not unlike girlhood. The performance is a visual treat, and the synergy between Gilbert's spoken words and her movements.


The spoken word element in "Flush" is equally impressive. Isabella Gilbert is a wordsmith and crafts quippy relatable anecdotes about girlhood and dating. The performance explores the highs and lows of dating and the complexities of modern romance, all delivered with a healthy dose of humour. Gilbert's timing and delivery make her jokes land with precision, leaving a giggly audience.


One of the most striking aspects of "Flush" is Gilbert's authenticity. She isn't afraid to delve into personal experiences and vulnerabilities, allowing the audience to connect with her and relive the highs and lows of her life (including being squashed between a disappointing date and a wall). Gilbert wasn’t afraid to think outside of the box to deliver a unique show that is raw and authentic to her.


The performance also shines a light on the universality of girlhood and dating experiences. While the anecdotes and situations are personal to Gilbert, they reflect the common struggles, quirks, and joys that people encounter in their own journeys. Whether you're an adult wading through the murky waters of modern dating or a little girl running through the ocean waves pretending you’re wearing the iconic Chanel boots from “The Devil Wears Prada”, "Flush" offers something relatable for everyone.


The set and lighting design in "Flush" was the star of the show. The minimalistic stage, adorned with just a few well-placed props, allows Gilbert's physicality and storytelling to take centre stage. It seemed that the show was written for the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre as Gilbert took full advantage of the outdoor terrace and indoor space as a clever transition tool. My only criticism of the setting was that I would have liked the seats to be staggered to ensure everyone has a clear view of the stage, even if you were behind a row or two, although I did like the intimacy of the venue.


In conclusion, "Flush" by Isabella Gilbert is an energetic performance that blends dance and spoken word comedy to explore the world of girlhood and dating. With her authenticity and humour, Gilbert delivers an engaging narrative that will resonate with anyone who has been stuck on a date with a mansplainer. It's a refreshing piece of theatre that reminds us that even in the chaos of dating, there is humour to be found.

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