I woke up. I showered. And then the mirror was just there. Suddenly there. only it had always been there, but I’d, somehow, I’d managed to never look. To never really look…
There is a lot of fantastic material at Brighton Fringe, sometimes so much so we find ourselves spoilt for choice- but this was a production we were glad to catch.
I don’t know about you, but I was a bit of a horror at 16. Unconsciously so- I think- but my priorities largely revolved around gigs, film nights with my mum, and sitting in Starbucks while 8 of our penniless friends split one tiny macchiato between us, so we could chat in the warmth.
I definitely was not learned in the workings and politics of Gender Norms. Although I’ve always liked to think of myself as open minded and educated, even at 16, my personal teenage self was put to shame when I watched the Young Creatives Portsmouth’s production of Evan Placey’s Pronoun.
The play charts a poignant love story about two childhood sweethearts, Josh and Isabella, during the course of Isabella’s transition into Dean. The play explores what it is to be a transgender teen, the idea of gender norms, and how we understand them, and challenges it’s audience to question the meaning of the word ‘tolerance’.
One of the play’s most important scenes provides a discussion on tolerance with a beautiful and powerfully delivered speech from a young company actor playing Dean, our protagonist.
In the speech, Dean talks about the idea that tolerance is a word that brings a weight of judgement with it- He challenges the notion that transgender people should be ‘tolerated’, and instead should be loved and accepted.
The sensitive handling of such material was impressive and delicate considering that the company’s age ranges from 12-16 years.
Speaking to the members post show, it was fascinating to learn that they had chosen the play themselves due to their urge to perform something politically important and relevant, and something that would carry a meaningful message. It was inspiring to hear them talk about their desire to communicate the issues within the play, and to gain a further understanding of transgender people themselves.
Their creative approach showcased some very promising young talent, and there were several lovely motifs and ideas that ran throughout- as well a fantastic moving set that provided the small stage with interesting variations.
The play was handled with care and consideration, and a maturity way beyond the years of the company themselves. This company are sure to have a promising and exciting future ahead of them!
All our love,
Becky, Ellen, Dan, Tom & Jess xx
‘Pronoun’ was performed at Brighton Fringe in conjunction with Sweet venues, May 26th-May 28th, 2018 by Young Creatives Portsmouth. For further information on their upcoming work, you can visit their website.