REVIEW: Since U Been Gone, Vaults Festival London ✭✭✭✭

Paul T Davies reviews Since U Been Gone featuring Teddy Lamb now playing as part of the Vault Festival, London.

Since U Been Gone review Vault Festival

Since U Been Gone.
Vaults Festival.
4/2/20
4 Stars
Vault Festival Website

Queer artist Teddy Lamb gives us emotional, honest, tender and visceral storytelling in their piece about finding identity, gender and self-acceptance. Teddy is a warm, welcoming performer, and it’s somewhat appropriate that it is being performed in The Forge, as the piece is about forging your identity and claiming space for it.

Since U Been Gone Vault Festival
Photo: Holly Revell

Underpinning the show is the loss of two friends, both at a tragically young age, and how to honour memories when gender identity colours and shapes them differently to the rest of the world. It’s beautifully written by Lamb, and well-directed by Billy Barrett, with a simple but effective set design by Pete Butler. Plastic bags help create a litter-strewn park, and Teddy moves from wearing overalls to wearing a beautiful blue dress as he becomes stronger- given their honesty about their body issues, this is brave and wonderful.  It would be wrong to call this a solo show though, as Teddy Lamb converses and interacts with the atmospheric original music performed by Nicol Parkinson, underscoring the production well. There are times, however, when the balance of music and spoken word is a little out of shape, and I lost some of the dialogue, particularly in intense moments.

However, whilst I may not have got many of the references, (I’ve never seen America’s Next Top Model for example), the audience did and identified strongly with the humour and sadness of the piece.  This is current, topical LGBTQ+ work, and this is a beautiful bruise of play, painful in places, but with golden colours.

Until 9 February 2020

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