How to Swim In Hollywood
Greenside, Infirmary Street
Aug 5-11,13-18 (22:00)
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
Alice Syvlester is a young woman unafraid to announce her most intimate sensations, to advance well-preen’d angels of sensuality into a theatre as she delivers her brave & brainy monologues. She has also been stricken by the Muse-Goddess, & unlike most dramas of today which seem spoiled by moments of poetry, Alice is quite the opposite, for her sporadic Pegasus flights transcend her general narrative with ease, ebullience, & beauty.
Last year she brought us a Sylvia Plath themed piece, & this time round we have a lyrical libation to the burgeoning femininity of a young woman caught up in the post-hippy hangover of Seventies LA. Around & over & into this setting Sylvester spins a yarn of consummate quality. You just feel cool when you’re watching her; I had a glance around the audience & all were enraptur’d at her physical movements, her facial dancing, her assured tone & the supple world in which her character, Daisy, dwelt in. For Daisy, the butterflies formed in her tummy via juvenile romance, flutter’d away & never came back.
I wanted to write a piece that shows how cultural norms regarding beauty standards and gender ideals strongly influence sexual exploitation, and the way we understand it.
Read the full interview here…
I loved her set; a simple but effective combination of dressing table & ingenious lighting from the Greenside crew – & Alice in her frilly nightie flouncing about unfurtively. She also knows how to command a physical silence; the dialogue pauses & she just stands there or sits there drawing us all in like a black hole until she bursts the spell with a flick of the head, a raise of the eyebrow, a curl of the lip… & the verbal continuation of her work. There is something opiate in the watching of the acting of Alice Sylvester – you dare not blink, you can barely breathe.