Juliette Burton: Look at Me @ Gilded Balloon

Review by Heather Reid | 11 Aug 2014
  • Juliette Burton: Look at Me

Juliette Burton walks onstage in sky-high heels and a gorgeous pink dress. She almost immediately takes her heels off, going barefoot for the rest of the show, and invites the audience to judge her appearance. In her show Look At Me she proves that looks can be deceiving. Quite literally, too – in one part she shows funny videos of herself in London trying on different bodies, in a sexy outfit, fat suit, hijab, and elderly women’s clothes and makeup.

Burton’s Fringe Festival show is done in a docucomedy style that combines humour with her real-life story of insecurity, eating disorder, and mental health issues. Using multimedia to take a look at her past, she unpacks body image in society with humour. Burton is charmingly open and honest with the audience about her story. Although she constantly interacts with the audience in her good-humoured and infectious way, she is careful to separate herself from the audience. This can feel alienating at times, but as she stresses, especially when you have dealt with mental illness, no one else can truly know your experience.

Her struggle to find a way to relate, while still not quite wanting to completely, really does inform the show. She takes her inner self-critical voice, and turns it into an audible recording that the audience can hear. She experiments with different body identities in her video clips from London. Burton’s show takes intensely personal experiences and shares them with her audience, showing how laughter can transform dark experiences. While it isn’t all laughs from start to finish, Burton’s loveable humour has the audience laughing at themselves as she pokes fun at her own insecurities. It’s a complex and interesting show that has the audience feeling uplifted as well as entertained. 

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More on Juliette Burton at Edinburgh Fringe Festival:

Juliette Burton interview for Fringe show 'Look at Me' / 'When I Grow up' Juliette Burton Fringe show review / Juliette Burton: How to crowdfund a Fringe show / Juliette Burton: The Loveliest Revolution / Mace and Burton at Fringe: Rom Com Con / Fringe review of Rom Com Con by Mace and Burton

Juliette Burton: Look at Me @ Gilded Balloon, 1-12, 14-25 Aug, 2.45 pm, £8