How to Swim in Hollywood @ Greenside, Infirmary Street
Sylvester’s performance is intimate and spell-binding and captures beautifully the struggles of a woman trying to keep her head above water in the Hollywood system
Alice Sylvester’s one-woman show, How to Swim in Hollywood is a dark peek into the overwhelming experiences of 20-year-old Daisy as she attempts to survive as a young woman in Hollywood. Sylvester not only plays Daisy, but has written and directed the play herself, and proves that one-person theatre can be dynamic and engaging.
Set in 1979, Daisy sits at a white vanity table and tells the audience about her journey from childhood to womanhood. This is a journey almost entirely defined by her encounters with men, from her father to her high school crush to men who have sexually assaulted her. Now 20 and married to a very rich husband she remains trapped in her role as a housewife.
Sylvester expertly conveys the confusion that Daisy feels about her experiences. She claims that she loves her house but seems angry that she is chained to it. When men ask her what she likes she says that she ‘doesn’t know’. Sylvester’s adaptability as a performer allows her to convey the complex and varied ways in which Daisy relates to her own experiences and sexuality.
The play is a stark reminder of just how little Hollywood has changed since 1979 and Daisy provides a perfect metaphor for Hollywood itself – beautiful and untroubled on the outside with dark secrets hidden away. Sylvester’s performance is intimate and spell-binding and captures beautifully the struggles of a woman trying to keep her head above water in the Hollywood system.
How to Swim in Hollywood, Greenside @ Infirmary Street, until 18 Aug, 22:00, £10.00 (£7.00)
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