Imagine living in a windowless room in the city, your best friend is a dormouse, Saturn is returning, and doubt sticks with you like a stubborn stain. Gigi certainly has a great deal to contend with.

In this dark modern fairy tale, Gigi Star (Kit Sinclair) quite literally sells her soul to the devil, akin to Ursula taking Ariel’s voice, the devil owns Gigi’s voice – I guess that’s what you get for not reading the small print! Gigi is forced to use her vocal cords of magic in advertisements for a range of products, including haemorrhoid cream.

Gigi Star is piece of gig theatre, which appears to be the latest trend, and a theatre form which I fell in love with at this year’s Fringe. The concept of gig theatre is a play that incorporates live music within the performance. Tom Blake is the musical director and composer of this show and takes on the role of ‘Doubt’. Blake plays an array of instruments throughout the performance, from guitar to sax. Sinclair uses poetry and spoken word during the musical aspects of the performance – and this is where the production really shines.

The staging by Charlotte Ive has three moons on the back wall of the stage and household items hung from the ceiling, such as spoons and cheese graters which are used at the beginning of the show to produce sound. I would have loved these items to be utilised more throughout the show, to add a unique sound to the music. On the middle moon, captions are projected, created by Edalia Day. There were moments in which the captions were not in time with the lines being spoken. Which meant that the punchlines in Sinclair’s wonderfully humorous script were read by the audience before they were spoken. There was also a time where the captions stopped working altogether – but this was the first night of the show, so the benefit of the doubt can be afforded as I’m sure such problems can be avoided as the run continues.

The main themes running through this production are doubting yourself, the effects this can have upon you, and the importance of staying true to yourself. Between the lines of this beautifully crafted script is a tale of what it’s like to be a woman in today’s world. The show also touches upon the 27 Club, with audience members given envelopes containing the name of famous people that are eternally 27 years of age. Gigi Star is both profound in places and highly relatable in others. I’m sure every millennial can relate to the character of Gigi.

Parts of the story are quite bizarre and felt rather random, but for the most part this show has a great plot that feels unique and fresh when paired with the live music. Much of the performance is carried out with backing music, which appeared to be recorded tracks, and I wished there had been more live music incorporated – the use of loop pedals would have elevated this performance massively.  

I did watch the show on the first night of its run, so some hiccups are to be expected. Gigi Star has a wonderful script, which is relatable and honest. The live music moments within the show are where this production shines most brightly and with some refinement I have no doubt that this show can be a resounding success.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The borough of Newham was identified by Arts Council England as the area with lowest arts engagement in London, with only 58% engagement. The creative team of Gigi Star are reaching groups such as local choirs, youth groups and poetry groups and truly setting the tone for this community space to engage with the local community with a show that will resonate and warm hearts.

There is also the opportunity to pay less for tickets to Gigi Star with tickets from £10 plus booking fee.

Gigi StarApplecart Arts5th – 9th September 2022


{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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