Until 07 Mar 2020

Review by Helen Karakulak

Laura Desmond is captivating and moving in this spoken word piece that shines in its honesty.

A testimonial for the difficulty of self-love, “Dr Selflove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Thighs” explores the ins and outs of growing up and how minor interactions have major effects on the way you present yourself.

To its merit, this show feels intimate, as if it’s just you and Desmond in the room and she’s chosen to confide in you about the life events that led her down a rabbit hole of self-doubt and the lanyard of the artist pass that she grasped on her climb back up.

It’s a conversational experience rather than an immersive one, but nonetheless it absorbs you. Leaving you to feel as if you’ve shouldered some of Desmond’s sadness, perhaps it can be a starting point of how to address your own.

Despite its sensitive subject matter, Desmond never falters, maintaining a strong stage presence throughout. The playfulness of her personality comes out in some movements, usually to music, but is overshadowed by the solemn nature of her stories. This gives the performance a genuine nature, because the emotions that come with a lot of her experiences would dim the light in any young girl.

Sound is well utilised, weaving familiar pop songs throughout Desmond’s storytelling to assist in transitioning from one memory to another. The music used captures the youthfulness and emotional rollercoaster of growing up and coming into your own as a teenager, and then as an adult.

“Dr Selflove” seized the opportunity to explore vulnerability in a refreshing and constructive way. Emotive and thought-provoking, this isn’t a show that you should go to looking for answers, but rather be prepared to look inside yourself.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)