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She rules with IRON STICKS
Presented by Petit Pont Productions

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Reviewed: 2008-07-20 16:44:41
By: Leila Marston (primordialmuse@gmail.com)

Brigette DePape's latest production tells the story of a energetic, perceptive young baton-twirler, crippled by shyness, struggling to realise her dreams despite her fears.  The performer's sparkling talent and a set of glittering "iron sticks" make for a charming presentation.

Sophie, the young batonist (well, it's a word now), has more anxieties than friends and volumes of quirky thoughts that she's longing to share with others.  While the character at times follows odd tangents or descends into an almost frightening neurosis, it speaks well for her lively portrayal that I was able to enjoy the show despite not always empathizing with its only character.  DePape's baton-twirling abilities were excellently showcased in this play, as well; she fired off practised tricks with fluid ease and even mocked different twirling "styles" in one particularly funny moment of the show. 

Sophie's thoughts are complex and genuine, and the show is a tour-de-force (or tour-de-ferrous, when the iron sticks take centre stage) of human emotion.  While the show's ending was fairly sudden, I felt this was appropriate to the story, as Sophie spends a long time discussing and exploring her feelings; in order to grow, the character must do something abrupt, take a sudden leap of faith to counteract years of waiting and wondering.

She Rules with IRON STICKS is that rare show that I would recommend to any audience; it's an effective mix of drama, comedy, and plain good theatre, and would appeal to a wide variety of spectators.

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