We ‘worship our idols like a shrine’ and whether or not we should is the question Fan Girl is asking. At just under an hour it is both an exploration and a celebration of passion. And it leaves you becoming a fan yourself.
We meet Geraldine (Karen Whyte) in Leeds where she is finally going to get the chance to express her love for her favourite TV show ‘Zenobia’ at the first international fan convention ever to be held for the show. Documenting her journey using a small video camera Geraldine takes us through her favourite moments from the show and explains the importance of having a strong female warrior queen to look up to. As the weekend unfolds she is surprised by what happens to her, some surprises delightful and some very disheartening.
Whyte has the most amazing energy and you cling to her every word. At times she reminded me of a hybrid between Bridget Jones and Father Ted’s Mrs Doyle and at others she resembled Mike Leigh’s beloved character Poppy from Happy Go Lucky. Her naivety was charming and her determination admirable. She had the full attention of the audience throughout the performance, and there was no moment that didn’t belong to her.
Eddie Coleman has created a universe that although original is very recognisable. It is a stream of consciousness but one that tells a story. It is a tight script, with a good ratio of humour to plot. And although it is a one woman show Whyte’s ability to morph into different characters, from a sexy Yorkshire barman to a charismatic American actor, make it seem like you’re watching a spread of very talented performers.
Lily Ann Green’s direction is very clear. The set was very minimal but Green used this to her advantage, allowing the strength of the script to paint the colours of the world we were in. She allowed Whyte freedom to move the pace of the words as she felt right and this allowed for the most wonderfully confident performance.
It is important who our idols are, and the character of Geraldine deserves a good one. She reminds us that loving something, no matter what it is, is a beautiful thing, and through the strength of Whyte’s performance and Coleman’s script she does so whilst making us laugh and very subtly making us cry.