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Review: Bi Bi Baileigh at the Harlow Playhouse

Entertainment / Sat 13th Nov 2021 at 12:19pm

BI Bi Baileigh was a one man monologue about one person’s sexual identity.

Baileigh is a veterinary undergraduate living in Camden (but there were a few references to Roydon).

There were tales of gay liaisons and then straight liaisons and then a conclusion with a smattering of greek philosophy that illustrated that there are lots of ways of expressing your self sexually.

The audience really liked it, enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.

This reviewer just couldn’t really warm to it. In some ways, it felt like it was quite out of date. The character reminded this reporter of people he knew when he was at university in the early eighties however, this may be a timeless piece and what was relevant in 1981 is still relevant in 2021.

There were some very funny lines and they were delivered really well by Isaac Verrall. The Ranvir Singh references, the cow references, the piece about Aristophanes, the taxi driver scene.

Isaac painted so many believable scenes. What added value was that he was likeable. The audience liked him and what he was saying. In fact they may well have found him inspirational. If you’ve got that talent then you can work in the rest.

This reviewer felt the same however this wasn’t a character that interested me or felt I was empathetic to.

But perhaps we missed the underlying messages about micro- aggressions and perhaps a lot of people will feel reassured, vindicated or validated by seeing a play like this.

In some ways, it felt like a work in progress an perhaps it should be judged as a first solo outing rather then the finished article.

We understand they hope to take it to the Edinburgh Festival. As a reviewer at the fringe, may I suggest that they may want to have another look at the material they have. Or they want to take on board that this audience really loved it and is it it ain’t broke……..

This would have benefitted as being perhaps part of a two hander (a fifteen minute interval with another monologue after. Or part of a series of Harlow stories. Just an idea. Again, maybe this may be part of the start of something. Something new, fresh and vital.

But again, let us congratulate the Harlow Playhouse Trust for putting on plays like this. Whilst other theatres are threatened with closure or wouldn’t have the vision to put on short plays such as this. There should be plays like this every week.

If this was a film review, we would probably go and watch again, and take another look.

In fact, tell you what, if it goes to Edinburgh in 2022, we will take the high road and have another look.

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