VAULT FESTIVAL REVIEW: Gobby ★★★
The Studio, Vault Festival
Tuesday 4th - Sunday 9th February 2020
Having taken The Edinburgh Fringe by storm in 2019, Gobby has understandably had some hype behind itself; you only have to glance at the poster image, with party popper confetti spewing out if Jodie Irvine's mouth, to make an impact that will stick in your head, and the production itself does well in delivering a confident performance from Irvine, with this one woman show dealing with loneliness, honesty, and self awareness.
With the real name of Bri, though nicknamed Gobby due to her constant talking, we are charted through five seperate parties that have changed her life, each one for a different occasion, with Irvine channeling a variety of guests, wether that's Welsh friend Beth, or to the boy that she has always secretly admired. Irvine captives us with her body language and accents, constantly bouncing between narration to conversation, and though she stands alone on stage full on balloons, bunting and confetti, it never seems to ingulf her presence, to which our eyes are always drawn to her. The props around the stage also play a huge party of the story; poppers signify the start of a new party we enter, and balloons are used as either pizza dough or faces of party goers.
There were moments though throughout that started to become quite repetitive, with long speeches and little movement, that begins to lose your interest. With such a party atmosphere laid out on stage, it certainly feels like there was a sense of missed opportunity to get us up and dancing along, though that would have been if there was a big dance number at all, which sadly there was not, so instead as the climax of the show interweaves with the fifth party and Gobby comes to realise the importance of self care, we merely just sit and watch, unable to interact or join in with the amount of unused poppers still filling up the party bowls.
Overall, Gobby succeeds in bringing forward an honest account of mental health and self-care, but falls just shy in providing an energetic atmosphere that we could all congragate in.