Saturday, July 13

Blizzard – Soho Theatre

A subtle yet impactful combination of tender, wacky and surreal, Emily Woof’s Blizzard is a light yet deep journey of love, identity and existence narrated by her character Dotty. She is persuaded by her husband, a neuroscientist also called Dotty, to deliver a lecture on ‘Criticality, Connectivity and the Neuronal Avalanche’ in Switzerland as he is ‘indisposed’. Despite displaying her incomprehension of and disinterest in the subject, she decides to stand-in for him so that his life’s work does not go down the drain; the specifics of why her and not another scientist, and why not cancel or postpone the lecture are not given but they are inconsequential to the story. As Dotty journeys to Switzerland, she discovers and simultaneously invites the audience to discover the meaning of those dry words on her husband’s paper in the most delightful and intriguing manner, making connections all over like neurons in the brain would do, determined to really engage the audience and also herself. While this is not well-received by most in the scientific community, it is cheered by some. And as her understanding of the subject emerges, her life begins to collapse.

The show is replete with beautiful and heart-warming moments of wisdom, wit, realisations, ‘inspiration and relaxation’ mainly due to Woof’s simple, subdued but compelling rendition of the piece that it becomes a joyous experience as the audience embraces everything she has to offer- be it an unwilling, blingy, dress she wore for the keynote speech, or Anita, a Swiss artist who impersonates animals for long durations, or whacky movement interpretations of her mental state (Movement directed by Sian Williams).

What was most charming and satisfying was the cohesion of composition and narrative almost organically brought to life by the creative team. Hamish McColl’s direction and Woof’s writing are succinct and neat in bringing out the messiness and divergence of the human brain. Creating a pattern with white yarn while narrating rather pointless journeys and actions of Dotty’s friend who refused to answer ‘why’, beautifully manifested Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy as well as her husband’s neuronal avalanche theory.

A must-watch if you are looking for a satisfying and delightful 60-minute experience of wit, wisdom and whacky!

Running till May 25th at the Soho Theatre Upstairs.

Reviewer: Khushboo Shah 

Reviewed: 9th May 2024 

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.