• Sunday, May 26, 2024

Reviews

Bridgerton star shines in solo coming-of-age drama

INSTRUCTIONS FOR A TEENAGE ARMAGEDDON

By: Asjad Nazir

THE solo show earlier performed by its writer, Rosie Day, returned recently with a new production in central London, headlined by Charithra Chandran.

The Bridgerton star makes her West End debut in a coming-of-age play about a young teenage girl named Eileen, dealing with the death of her elder sister, Olive, from anorexia.

Eileen must also cope with isolation, being manipulated, her parents’ separation, a terrible trauma and being forgotten by the adults around her.

The various sections of the 80-minute monologue are framed with scout badges and video projections of some key people she encounters.

The talented actress immerses herself in the angst of a teenage character who hides her pain behind a glowing smile.

By combining lighter moments with darker chapters from the character’s life, Chandran shows off her impressive range. Her stage presence keeps audiences engaged even at times when the momentum of the central storyline slows down.

She has many highlights as a performer from start to finish, including a powerful moment in the aftermath of suffering a horrific non-consensual incident at the hands of an adult, which she, as a young person, doesn’t fully understand.

The simple staging of a bedroom proves an effective backdrop, and the direction allows the actress to bring out a range of emotions.

The writing combines a cautionary tale with important life lessons, including the need for better communication with young people and open conversations about teenage mental health. The list of life lessons also includes the need to be kind to oneself, even when others aren’t.

The show, on at the Garrick Theatre in London until April 28, is worth watching for the sharp writing and a winning performance from Chandran, whose name you’ll be hearing for years to come.

Related Stories

Videos

Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…