Yet another bustling evening at Camden People’s Theatre for Calm Down Dear 2019, the annual festival of innovative feminist performance. The first instalment of this evening was Theodora van der Beek’s production: Drink Your Pink, her one-woman comedy piece.
Beek creates performances that challenge the gender binary and explore power and privilege within society. This piece followed ‘Pinky’, also confusingly named as ‘Princess’ in early moments, who is locked in a tower with her life revolving around her online presence. Pinky is a YouTube and Instagrammer trapped away from the real world in her pink room, but when given an odd gift from her father, her desire to seek the unknown and break from her confinement becomes uncontrollable.
Relative to her characters’ annoyance with entrapment, Beek’s performance often seemed detached, thus creating less of a hook for the audience. Although there were some great moments of comedy, especially the intelligent idea to project a Blue music video, I struggled to pinpoint this production’s comedic form and did not laugh as much as possibly intended. The writer and performer does well at honing in on familiar cultural references and sayings that keep us engaged but she is sometimes limited by her unfortunately often cringy and misplaced elements of the piece.
One thing that sadly massively affected Beek’s performance was the constant clicking of photography as she had her production shots taken throughout. Perhaps I could view this as a message highlighting Pinky’s life always being observed and judged. However, it was simply completely distracting and such a shame of a decision to have disturbed the theatrical feel of live performance.
Drink Your Pink is a fluffy and pink production that very clearly demonstrates the restriction to and by the ‘pink’ on femininity. Beek is a creative and resourceful writer that may have the ability to create Pinky into a colourful star. I hope this nervous and detached performance at Camden People’s Theatre leads on to the more well-rounded and stable performance it deserves.
Reviewer: Jessica Battison
Reviewed: 9th June 2019
North West End Rating: ★★★