Point Blank, Nothing to Declare

Review in Issue 15-3 | Autumn 2003

It’s solo performer Mandy Gordon that makes this piece. She somehow manages to pull a believable and sympathetic character out of the ridiculous premise that a broken-hearted interior designer would lose herself in a warzone in search of the next big thing in home styling. The character’s insistent shallowness and blind self-centredness could easily have grated and the joke worn thin. Some of the performance is clunky (random clambering over the niftily created truck or the overuse of a pair of boots to represent a border guard) and Liz Tomlin’s writing at times feels overly writerly. There are one or two moments where the character’s naivety rings false: one was her nicking a Red Cross flag – ‘so vogue’ – with hardly a pause to note that it comes from a blood-splattered scene of devastation.

But Gordon turns this little monologue into more than the sum of its parts. The tale of her white Habitat sofa and its inevitable demise courtesy of a bottle of red wine and a clumsy party guest becomes a metaphor for the impossibility of perfection. Her delight in her discovery of ‘crisis chic’ reminds us that resolute blindness is sometimes the only way anyone can deal with a life that’s got too deep. A surprising, moving piece.

Presenting Artists

North Westminster College

Date Seen
  1. May 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-3
p. 27