Review In Search of Applause, Maroussia Vladi, The Old Red Lion By Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

A night of one woman plays.

How could I resist my theatrical sisters and not see another solo show after another!

In Search of Applause features a struggling actress, a trained clown who falls into the comfortable and routine life of a relationship. She doesn’t really love him. He has money and they live an interesting lifestyle, but ultimately, he seemed kind.

Now with this premise, we expect some hard hitting shock to the system- is this about domestic abuse? Perhaps a Phoenix from the ashes moment? Unfortunately there is no such thing. And the hour or so feels unremarkable.

Maroussia Vladi, both the writer and actress of the piece is very good- don’t get me wrong. She has a presence to the stage; the narrative is interesting … but it felt unfinished.

If Vladi has indeed trained as a clown, this shows. And I don’t mean this necessarily negatively. She obviously has talent but some reactions and mime seemed a little too over the top and unnecessary – perhaps in a clowning piece it would have been perfect, but for this, it didn’t. I badly wanted to associate myself with her but I just couldn’t fight through the over-theatrical wall.

The moments she really broke down, let her guard lower for a moment- where the real anger and emotion lay was what I craved and while it was only a small amount over all and near the end, it was good and what we needed throughout.  

Vladi’s In Search of Applause is a nice piece of theatre – the idea is there, the talent is, but the two didn’t match quite enough for me to really enjoy it and feel a connection.

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