Review: Flours at Chapter Arts

*Thank you to Big Loop for a review ticket 🙂

 

You might already know how much we adored Flowers, so I was really excited to catch Flours at Chapter Arts. With a huge focus on the female form and turmoil, I was very excited to see what may or may not evolve…

Review: Flours at Chapter Arts

I attended the performance with Nanny Kim, writer at Brummie Gal in Cardiff and I have to say from the off, we aren’t huge fans of the new venue at Chapter. After seeing a few performances there, I can confirm it’s not the best place in terms of seating and full viewing of the stage. Having a vantage point from each area of the performance area is key, and I just don’t dig this space at all. I have sat in the second row and the back row, and both times I did not get a full view of all parts of the stage. This means you miss certain actions, which can be detrimental to your viewing of the performance…

When it comes to the performance, it took me quite a while to get into it, unlike Flowers. The stage was set up as a little bakery with an interactive flip chart and other props to add layers along the way. The story focuses on two women who both explore their womanhood through stories and their interaction on stage.

I think both performers were quite strong and passionate in the roles they played, but there were some areas of the play that felt a little disjointed.  As Brummie Gal in Cardiff suggests, at times the performance felt incredibly ‘erratic’. There were moments when I loved the ‘moment’ as it happened, and then it would flip to something else without following through on certain subjects. For example, we hear a very sad and relatable story about a night out that turns into sexual harassment, but then the play shifts into something else and the sentiment is lost.

There were times when I felt so in touch with the vibe on stage, then the moment would be over in a blunt and almost careless way. I also found it less humorous than most of the audience, but then I was at least 10 years older than most of the folk in there, perhaps this changes things? Who knows…

There were scenes where the audience laughed and I cringed, or worse I felt a little sad. I don’t find humour in the realities of life as a woman. Flours opens up a world of indifference and injustice for women. The lives we live all compared to a tick box scale of achievements society holds against us. I loved the exploration of marriage, children, mortgages and all the other ‘must haves’ to make sure our lives are complete…

This was the area of the play I adored. The fight against these expected behaviours. I also loved the insight into schooling and what we’re taught about our bodies. The reality is left swept under the carpet and we listen intently as we’re told what our female forms will do, how naive we are! It made me think about home education and how I feel I can be honest with my children about their bodies, what may or may not happen in life and the true importance of consent.

I think Flours is sending vital messages through its exploration of womanhood, but at times it veered off in too many directions for the point to be understood. I thought both performers were professional and passionate, and I’d love to see them perform again in the future.

Part of this performance involves conversations about periods, which links directly to their current campaign to end period poverty. A while ago on social media I mentioned the donation box in Chapter’s toilets, and it’s still there, but there’s also a large box outside the theatre for the audience to donate sanitary products. I think this is a great initiative and something we should all support, whether you see the play or not.

Flours is running Saturday 21st July and tickets are £10.

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