REVIEW: EXACTLY LIKE YOU (Underbelly) ★★★★

exactly like youExactly Like You is a one woman show written and performed by actress and spoken word artist Lotte Rice and directed by Fringe First award winner Kirsty Patrick Ward. It’s a tale of a young woman’s experiences of life, work, love and loss told through clever wordplay and the songs of Nina Simone.

Rice tells the tale of Abbie, a young woman close to her grandmother and distant from her mother. She talks of bonding with her Irish grandmother over music, particularly Nina Simone; blowing the dust from vinyl records and sinking into the sofa to watch recordings of her performances on the television. The strongly drawn characters make it all the more tragic when her grandma passes away and Abbie struggles through her grief. As she faces the challenges life throws at her, the ghost of Nina Simone appears to help her along the way and make her face her fears, the words of her songs spoken and sung.

Rice is a gifted performer, holding the audience’s attention throughout. There’s humour even in the darker moments. She uses the stage well, moving around the space as the tale unfolds; she voices a range of characters and acts out a particularly bad hangover with energy and conviction.

This show is a good example of spoken word performance mixed with music and theatre. The language is well chosen and the rhymes flow well in Rice’s capable hands.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans

Exactly Like You plays at the Underbelly Cowgate until 28 August 2016