Liz Richardson and Tara Robinson
The Conker Group and Home
A brave and inventive one woman production that makes you thankful of things you've never thought to be thankful of before.
The Conker Group and Home's co-production of Gutted is enlightening and emotional if, at times, very bizarre. In the programme, they have sold this production as one to make people talk and it certainly does that.
Taking us on her own personal journey, Liz Richardson leaves no holds barred as she explains through many different methods her battle with the chronic disease ulcerative colitis. This is where the colon and rectum become inflamed often (as in Richardson's case) resulting in the need for a colostomy bag.
The shame that comes with the disease is portrayed in an extremely heartfelt way throughout the production yet the comedy shines through too. From drawing on herself and acting as a stoma to showing a video of what is believed to be her own colonoscopy, this piece is certainly a wacky spectacle but Richardson is a superb actress and holds the audience's attention superbly throughout. Her swift character and accent changes are smooth and delightful to watch.
The moments of audience participation are the only jarring points in the show (where she offers people beer and cake if they act as her boyfriend or mother by reading from a thank you card through a microphone). Although the reasoning for doing so is explained at the end of the performance, you can't help but feel it easily takes away from the quick-paced and exciting nature of the show.
If you are looking for a show that makes you think, laugh and cry within the hour this one is for you. But don't go in needing the loo!!
Reviewer: Liam Blain