"Good dancing but needs reworking"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 05/08/18

“Doll Face” running at the Hen and Chickens is a dramatic monologue written and performed by Freida Mann. It focuses on a young British Asian women in her mid twenties. While her parents wants her to be dutiful, successful daughter, who gets married and has grandchildren, she wants to experience what she sees as a normal twenty-something life. However, a drunken encounter ends up having unforeseen consequences. Directed by Anna Marshall and choreographed by Alex Hinson, it mixes dance with the spoken word.

Generational conflict and second-generation immigrant identity are certainly dramatically fertile areas. The problem is that this piece doesn’t even scratch the surface. Not only is the piece extremely short at a very brief thirty minutes, but for the majority of the time the story is boring. A father being unhappy about the way their daughter dresses is hardly out of the ordinary or noteworthy. While the stakes dramatically rise towards the very end, the conclusion seems a bit gratuitous, and just serves to make the protagonist seem deeply unsympathetic, even a bit sociopathic- and not in an ironic Fleabag type of way.

While Mann is clearly a talented dancer, the piece needs to be reworked, lengthened and rethought.

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