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Review: Thigh Gap at La Mama Theatre

By Kerrie Batrouney

Thigh Gap is a tale of two women sharing a flat. They initially have little in common but as their friendship develops, their lives slowly disintegrate into a darker place from the self imposed pressures of being a modern woman. They slowly spiral into disturbing paranoia and crazy justification. Thigh gap raises a mirror to the absurdity of modern expectations and norms. There are strong themes of guilt and outside pressures, where the female passivity of conforming contrasted sharply with the confident persona they aspire to. In writing this review I keep asking myself - why do women enable each other and layer on the guilt and insecurity like this?

Thigh Gap is performed by Veronica Thomas and Lauren Mass. The two actors are excellent, they have great comedic timing and aren’t afraid of allowing the silences to just be. There are extremely smooth transitions between scenes aided by the great lighting design (John Collopy and Georgie Wolfe). The writer, Jamaica Zuanetti has created a work that is insightful, funny and revealing. The colour scheme is pink…. pink poster, pink set, pink accessories, pink food and wine, a statement of femininity, a bold clue. The music is also female, empowering women. I feel like the set and props are just right, there was symbolism in the furniture, as the friendship progressed, and things got weirder, the flat got messier. I hoped that the bunny wasn’t going to be boiled…. but I don’t want to spoil the plot!

Whilst these dark concerns are presented in an amusing way, it is scarily realistic. I’ve been there, living with other women where in the name of sisterhood and supporting each other you do things which you wouldn’t normally do. Nothing sinister, I mean like going on a diet or taking up karate or needing a particular brand of makeup. Now with the added pressures of social media and the new norms of being a women, it is even easier to obsess over things that can seem important. So you tell each other stories and propagate beliefs which can spiral into a dark place or be very unhealthy. So yes, it was taken to the extreme where they became increasingly frantic and desperate. But why is this sort of thing even a possibility? There is always another fad to follow, that hasn’t changed, only the fads. Why does fulfilling the expectations of being a women mean that we enable each other to become so irrational and frantic about dating or diets or careers or fitness or shopping or self maintenance?

I paused to think…… why were the men in the audience laughing?.... was it because the issues that consumed these women were all things that most men barely even think about? Can you imagine an all male house share where they eat yogurt and talk about calories, discuss make up and high heels, worry about their saggy arms and their thigh gap?

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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