Filler Up!

Deb Filler and Lowry Marshall
Drill Hall 2
(2003)

Deb Filler is an international writer and performer: she has worked in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada and Europe. In Filler Up! she holds the audience's attention for a fleeting hour and a half, talking about her life, playing her guitar, singing songs, and baking a loaf of Jewish challah bread to her father's recipe. By the end of the show the aroma of baking bread is irresistible, and Deb leaves the loaf for a grateful audience to demolish. She even supplies the recipe in the programme.

Drill Hall 2 is a small, intimate space set out in cafe style. The set consists of a large shiny aluminium fridge, a microwave cooker, a swivel stool, and a table set out with cooking materials (the dough is pre-prepared). Deb occasionally singles someone out, albeit briefly, for her undivided attention - which is fun, because the eye contact makes you feel part of the performance.

Deb takes her audience through her long slow process, from childhood onwards, of coming to terms with herself, her family, her body, her sexuality, and, above all, Food! She talks of conflicting messages from a father who brought home delicious leftovers from the bakery each day, then criticised his daughter for being overweight. There is a poignant account of her father's death - when he finally asks her "Have I been a good father?" she can only say "Yes".

Deb presents us with a dazzling array of characters, voices and accents. She makes us laugh, and she makes us think. By the end of the show we are left in no doubt that Fat is a Feminist Issue.

Reviewer: Gill Stoker

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