Theatre review: Let me finish (The Blue Room Theatre)
When the lights dimmed on the final scene in Let me finish, a theatre goer behind me said to their friend, we need to talk about these things more. Let me finish is a show that encourages you to have conversations, and leaves you intending to have them. The show describes itself as a performance that ‘disrupts convention simply by existing’ — and it does with its exploration of sexual liberation and female empowerment. It is funny, it is sad, it is strong. On its opening night, Let me finish was seamless in power, humour and its importance.
Let me finish takes what society considers too much information and creates a space for it to exist as plain facts, no longer necessarily hidden, that surround female self acceptance and sexual empowerment. Led by Charlotte Otton (Writer and Performer), Phoebe Sullivan (Director) and Emily Stokoe (Producer), the show follows five young women, performed by Charlotte Otton, Ana Ika, Angela Mahlatjie, Izzy McDonald and Jess Moyle, exploring the experiences of being a twenty something female in Australia, and the experiences that have led to this point.
Let me finish is defined by the complex narratives of the female experience, and moves fluidly through scenes, sometimes returning, each with a sense of finality and always ending with the weight of reality that comes with being a woman. The show allows this seriousness to coexist with humour, and it is hard not to laugh with each excruciatingly accurate observation of how women are expected to act, endure and see themselves. A great strength of the show, among many others, was its ability to turn over and examine different facets of female self acceptance and move into another scene without the audience wanting for more, each examination being full, whole and often relatable — from stories of growing up, the stories of survivors, being queer, scenes exploring the othering that is inescapable if you aren’t white, and the too often, but ever present, harrassment women experience from men.
The show utilises minimal props, which gives space to the weight of the performance and space to each of the performers, whose strength and conviction fills the stage. The singing, something I had not expected, was yet another of the shows many strengths. The harmonies achieved by the performers were strong and haunting, and the vocals of individuals offered vulnerability and strength simultaneously. This singing, and moments that saw all performers shouting in sync, were strong reminders of the strength of women, alone and together.
Let me finish is funny, serious, and loud. The show is unapologetic in its need to be heard, its focus on the stories of women, so often interrupted, ignored and silenced. It explores at the reality of what it is like growing up as a woman, the journey to self acceptance and being unapologetic about female sexuality. I got home and told my sister she had to watch it, and to bring my other sister with her too. This show opens up space for conversations about the female experience, for you to discuss your own experiences, nothing excluded — as society so often demands. Watch it tonight with a partner, you friend, family, potential love interests. Talk more. Let me finish shines a light on self acceptance as a woman — a light brighter than we are often allowed, or allow ourselves.
Content warning: this show features discussions from sexual assault survivors about their experiences. Look after your friends and know this is a safe space.