Hopeless

Spoken word artist Leyla Josephine's new performance piece takes you for a wee donner around itself and places you back from whence you came in better fettle than the journey promise

Review by Donald C. Stewart | 09 Feb 2018
  • Hopeless

Hopeless is on its way around the country at the moment, and judging by its homecoming at the Tron (26-27 Jan), hopelessness is not what you shall be left with by the end of this new solo piece from award-winning performance artist and writer Leyla Josephine.

The show is built around a “can’t be bothered to finish it” attitude. The effort to do so is meaningless and the whole thing is, well Hopeless.

It all begins with Josephine under a duvet, her leg sticking out, reluctant to begin until the stage manager verbally cues from the sidelines; Josephine considers such effort pretty pointless. This opening hasn't got theatrical artifice at its heart but plays with the medium to provide some form of comic interlude – which are required as the piece that carries heavy issues suggested by its title.

The show takes the form of Josephine's meanderings around the discovery of oneself, and these monologues do, at their heart, have a sweet musing of truth around them. The bits in between these shards of spoken word – all bonhomie with the audience – is where Hopeless works less well. Despite having had an extended run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, there remains a feeling of the show being a little less secure in its theatrical delivery than you could have expected.

Hopeless makes you think. It’s all a bit ironic and a tad deeper than it looks on its surface. It takes you for a wee donner around itself and places you back from whence you came in better fettle than the journey promised. The audience are an enthusiastic participant and make the evening a shared experience that will now find voice and collaboration in Newcastle, Sheffield, Brighton, Prague and Summerhall in Edinburgh as it spreads the message it hopes shall stick; catch Hopeless and find out what your message is... 


Future dates for Hopeless will be announced on leylajosephine.co.uk/hopeless