Tania Tuusa
Banana Peel Theatre Co
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall


Internal is a new work by Canadian Tania Tuusa, who also performs this solo show about a painfully lonely and unconfident young woman.

The story is an engaging tale of finding the inner courage to live the life you want. For the majority, being able to be oneself is an entitlement we are brought up to claim, but Melanie has reached her twenties having taken some knocks that have all but demolished her emotional resilience.

Within Melanie flickers a tiny flame of hope in part kept alive by escaping into her secret internal world where she is a burlesque performer.

Tuusa’s writing is convincing and sympathetic, blissfully without a shred of self-pity. The events that have made Melanie the retiring woman she is are revealed non-sequentially, building a picture of a young person who, through no fault of her own, can’t seem to catch an even break.

Melanie’s estrangement from her best friend is a particularly moving and thoughtful passage, although the writing would benefit from some trimming where there is occasional repetition—at 45 minutes' duration, the audience’s attention can be pretty much assured so it just isn’t needed—and more definition around how the wordless Melanie came to find her voice with her father would be a helpful addition.

An intimate story, Internal suffers a little in the presentation for being performed in the sterile and over-sized environment of a lecture theatre, and the sight-lines are such that when Melanie is delivering burlesque moves on the floor, the audience sees only her ankles as she does some impressive kicks.

Tuusa has strong stage presence, a good voice and a very expressive face; her detailed gestures naturally reinforce the narrative, making for a very watchable performance that makes you will Melanie to be her true self.

Reviewer: Sandra Giorgetti

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