Yolanda Mercy: Quarter Life Crisis (Underbelly Cowgate, 14.40)

Quarter Life Crisis is mostly what you would suspect from a one woman spoken word piece with such a title- a coming of age story, a millennial (that’s us, hello readers) wondering at which point they become an adult.

A solo theatre piece by Yolanda Mercy, it combines the issues of being a young woman in London with the weight of one’s ancestry weighing down on them, and it makes for an interesting and engaging show for the most part, with a number of choice laugh lines if you don’t like the idea of sitting through a Fringe show entirely devoid of comedy. Mercy is clearly a very accomplished performer, holding the audience for the full show and really engaging with the piece, the emotion from the writing really coming across nicely for the most part. The one real issue with the performance side of the show is that the levels are often off, with the backing track being slightly too loud for the non-mic enhanced performer, and meaning some members of the audience couldn’t make out some key moments.

Further, whilst most of the show gives a unique and original perspective on growing up as an Anglo-Nigerian woman, it does fall into cliché at moments. The text messages appearing on screens as plot device feels overused at this point, and a final monologue that falls into ‘this is us, this is who we are’ finding ourselves territory feel very student theatre. However, when Mercy can stick clear of clichés, this is a very interesting, and often very funny hour.

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