Review: Everything I See I Swallow

Review: Everything I See I Swallow
Harlow Playhouse

IT isn’t every day you walk into the main theatre at the Harlow Playhouse to be confronted by a semi-naked woman hanging upside down from a rope. Then again, this was no ordinary play.

It centres on a relationship between a mother and daughter after the mother discovers her daughter has amassed over 50,000 followers on Instagram by posting semi-naked images of herself.

The play wrestles with the concepts of exploitation, freedom of expression, pornogrpahy and art.

Played out with ropes as the main prop it is an intense theatrical experience. The aerial work is stunning as it acts as a metaphor for the young woman’s experience.

Maisy Taylor, who plays Olivia, has trained in circus arts and transfixes the audience with her performance.

Written by Taylor and fellow actress Tamsin Shasha and directed by Helen Tennison, Everything I See I Swallow is a study of shifting attitudes to female empowerment and sexuality.

The final part has quotations from a number of female personalities and their reflections on independence and the female circumstance from Angela Carter and Orlan to Caitlin Moran and Beyoncé.

It was typically forward thinking of Harlow Playhouse to bring this performance to the town fresh from the Edinburgh Festival. How the two artists did almost thirty shows in a row up there is remarkable.

Look forward to their next piece of theatre.

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