Inspired by the film Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman, Good and Gaslit delves into the concept of gaslighting – the more or less indirect manipulation perpetrated on women by a society that neither wants to see them in control nor to achieve success, a society deeply misogynistic that seems to harbour disdain for women.
Good and Gaslit explores the perspective is that of a woman who has lived through a significant portion of her life’s most meaningful events and looks back at them with disillusionment and newfound awareness. She revisits and reevaluates these events in the light of a rekindled feminism and the concept of gaslighting, something she wasn’t familiar with in her youth.
Written by Deborah Cincotta, an experienced TV producer and first-time theatre performer, and directed by Kendall McDermott, a student director at Wesleyan University and a first-time Fringe director, the show’s heart is a generational exchange within a one-woman performance. Its creative approach to exploring the intergenerational issues among women adds an extra layer of comedy and contemplation as Cincotta reflects and recalls many anecdotes from her past as if in therapy, infusing humour and wisdom.
The result is enjoyable, appropriately irreverent, and pleasantly never overly bitter. Good and Gaslit entertains without becoming burdensome, thanks to an elegant and profound script that aims to expose while staying true to pure entertainment. Cincotta’s performance is surprising, considering it’s her first time on stage, while McDermott comes across as somewhat rigid and forced. However, the chemistry between them, as mother and daughter, is evident and creates an atmosphere of intimacy and distinctly feminism that is comforting. The performance’s only shortcoming is a certain lack of sharpness and personality. While enjoyable, everything feels haphazard and disjointed, stemming from spontaneity and self-contained inspiration within a narrative that does not lead anywhere.
Good and Gaslit is pleasant but somewhat lackluster. The performer shines with her charisma and provides amusement, yet the humorous and reflective storytelling feels somewhat diluted and purposeless.
Reviewer: Anna Chiari
Reviewed: 23rd August 2023
North West End UK Rating: