This review by Emily Holyoake was originally published at Exeunt Magazine on 31 October 2017.
THE WAY I LOOK by O&O
Performed by: Alex Devine, Tessa Gaukroger, Roland George Harrad, Oliver J Harris, Marina O’Shea, Emerson Pike
Directed by: Igne Barkauskaite
Technical Manager: Alex Hoyle
Sam would like to introduce us to Mark – a facial birthmark that’s been their constant companion since birth, and something which they’re only just ready to talk about. Using ‘Sam’ as a common character which each performer can step into, The Way I Look is a whistle-stop tour of the realities of looking different.
There isn’t a weak link in this ensemble. Each performer slips easily into Sam’s story with their own particular style, but each always seems comfortably in tandem with the others. There’s a practised, end-of-tour ease as they pull the threads of the show together, and the tone shifts confidently through direct address, light-touch comedy, and more abstract moments of physicality and vocalisation. The Way I Look has a wholeness to it, an understatedly well-constructed script, and a real sense of stagecraft in the thoughtful use of space and set. I can do without the clutter of books and mugs to set some of the scenes – the performers are too good to need them – but the playful use of picture frames appeals directly to the first-year Drama student in me who still absolutely loves seeing a show about looking with literal framing devices in it.