Every day twenty-something-year-old girls experience the “too-much-phobia”; that is, no one (no man) will love a girl that is too loud, too talkative, too opinionated, too slutty, too emotional, and all too human. Because (obviously), all acceptable “womanly” behaviour is dictated by how appealing we are to the opposite sex—right? Let me finish. delves into the reality of being a woman in contemporary society, striking at the core of female liberation and sexual empowerment. The play offers an intersectional approach to fourth-wave feminism that is imperative in the progression of gender equality, queer thought, and “femininity”.
Written by Charlotte Otton and directed by Phoebe Sullivan, the performance takes place on a minimal stage, with a cast of five culturally diverse females reflecting on anecdotal accounts of day-to-day experiences of sexuality, friendship, and self-acceptance. The satirical disruption of societal norms is anchored in the interrogation of the too-much-phobia.
The small venue provided a close proximity to the stage and actors themselves, creating an intimate audience experience. PVC piping set up the stage as a cube and created a space the actors could step into and begin. On the stage were five white boxes. As the actors stepped onto the stage, the boxes were moved, setting the space as a different environment, embodying another time and place. The actors’ costumes were also minimal. The uniformity further encouraged moves of stories experienced. The seamless flow into narratives illuminated the notion that all women from different contexts experience the same rhetoric of social interactions in day-to-day life.
The five women in Let me finish. highlight the question of validity when recollecting social interactions as a female. The dramaturgical approach employed presented an underlying question in the audience’s head: are these the actors real personal narratives or are they fiction?; I admit this was a constant thought passing through my mind while I was watching.
As it turns out, some really were the actors’ real accounts of being a female in Australia. I have heard them all from female friends and family. I empathised with so many of the experiences being told. The attempt to tie the experience to the actor themselves highlights current social female connections. Collective individualistic experiences are what will propel intersectional feminism into the forefront of feminist discussion.
The presentation of all accounts throughout the play was all too real—every girl or woman will likely relate on some level. Men, on the other hand, may feel somewhat distanced watching this play, as these recollections are often exclusive to females. This in itself is important in the progression of gender equality as it is an education of how ingrained this day-to-day feminine experience is. Understatements throughout Let me finish. like: “it’s chill” and “I’m chill!” further highlights the too-much-phobia, as women are socialised to downplay experiences of gender, race and class inequalities.
Let me finish. is an uncanny presentation of modern-day feminism for all women. The humble, benevolent characterisation of women’s experiences are a deviation from the feminist fuelled ego and a true reflection on everyday narratives. This too-much and unapologetic performance of self-love, power ballads, and queer and culturally diverse realities should not be missed. Have a hot minute and check out these five full throttle narratives before you let them finish.
Let me finish. will be showing at The Blue Room Theatre from October 9–20.