Written and performed by Rosie Fleeshman, Narcissist in the Mirror is a new piece of writing from Nothing to Declare productions. Situated in the stifling Attic in Pleasance Courtyard it is a testament to Fleeshman’s character that she manages to keep the audience’s attention firmly on her.
The play opens with a dressing table, mirror, clothes rack and chaise longue on stage. A dressing room if you please, the perfect stage for a narcissist to tell us her story. As a debut production, the entire play is extremely slick and polished, Fleeshman works her way expertly around the set demonstrating a strong understanding of the audience’s line of vision ensuring she is always easily seen. Opening with some soft romantic music it is clear we are settling down for a story – we are going to find out what makes this narcissist tick.
The conversational performance continues, taking the audience on a whirlwind tour through a variety of important events. We watch her life form and significant events that have altered and shaped her into the person she is today. A compulsive liar, desperate to please, to fit in, to excel she is part of this generation of dissatisfaction – also looking to swipe right and start again. The audience is continuously laughing, sometimes uncomfortable peals ring out as we laugh at events that really are more disturbing than funny. Fleeshman encourages our laughter causing us to examine our humour and wonder whether we’re laughing as we actually recognize parts of our personalities in this admittedly slightly crazy woman. There is a relief in the audience when we see extremes of our characters brought to life on stage, we are all similar, striving for similar goals and we haven’t gone as far as this Narcissist yet.
With a rather almighty bump the play stutters and end, we have caught up to present day and we are left looking at a woman we know no better than we did an hour ago. Strangers again we prepare to depart but not without a standing ovation for a beguiling captivating performance. A fantastic debut production from a theatre company that has a lot to say… I look forward to seeing more.