BY ALYX LEEMING
501 Things I do in My Bedroom is a new play written and performed by the incredibly talented Nicola Wren, that has since been picked up and is soon to be produced by one of Brunel’s very own, Fiona Porritt. The one-woman comedy performed in Camden’s Etcetera Theatre was the perfect mix of side-splitting hilarity, touching emotion and relatability so much so that I wondered if Wren had actually come into my halls and watched me in my bedroom for the last three years at university dancing to Beyoncé, crying about boys and making some pretty embarrassing makeup faux pas.
The show is about a young woman, living in our 21st century hyper-technological and social media obsessed society. The one hour show is set entirely in her bedroom with her clothes, makeup, laptop and a whole heap of Starburst sweets to keep her company. Wren’s character uses unconventional drama techniques, breaking the fourth wall to explain to the audience relevant parts of her life that have got her to the point she is at now, intermixed with humorous characterisation of some of these moments or people (most memorably, Dolly bloomin’ Parton!) It is told non-chronologically and leaves many gaps in the audience’s knowledge throughout, meaning that we are teased into eager anticipation for the rest of the story. She tells tales of her family and career, however, mainly focusing on her relationship with love interest, Robbie. She does this in a way that perfectly captures our generation’s paradoxical nature of dating; the ability to be completely and utterly obsessed with another, whilst at the same time seeming to be distant and entirely uninterested.
I’ll be honest, I was sceptical to go and see a one woman show. Images of Chandler in ‘Friends’ watching “WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME? Chapter 1: My First Period” worried me, however, when the show was over I was left thinking that can’t have been an hour! I want more! Wren manages to create women, relatable for all; what I would refer to as modern, younger, more intelligent version of Bridget Jones. The character is a hybrid of the likeable, funny and beautiful protagonist of a rom-com with the maturity, intelligence and, yes, even the vices that actual real women have. To accompany this, Wren’s sparkling delivery of the character keeps you engaged until the very last line. I laughed so hard throughout the show that the moments of poignant honestly were even more heart-breaking.
After delivering, it’s sold out run at the Etcetera Theatre, ‘501 Things I Do in My Bedroom’ was on the lookout for a dynamic, young producer and they stumbled upon none other than Brunel’s Third Year Theatre student, Fiona Porritt. At Brunel, Fiona produces the Brunel Musical Theatre Society, but in the summer she will be part of the team taking ‘501 Things I Do in My Bedroom’ to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They aim to take the show on a UK Tour (Winter ‘15/Spring ’16) including a London show.
‘501 things I do in my bedroom’ will the performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015 at Just The Tonic at The Caves, every day at 1pm.