Review: If This Is Normal is nostalgic, emotional and entirely essential

Telling a difficult but necessary story, this acclaimed production takes us back to the most awkward and confusing time of our lives

We all remember what it’s like to be thrown into the confusing, intimidating world of being a teenager, and the endless, agonising, existential questions that come with it – am I normal? What is normal? Is anyone normal? – in some cases, questions that are still unanswerable, but probably a bit less important now.

Lucy Danser’s critically acclaimed production, If This Is Normal, takes us back to the most awkward and confusing time of our lives and attempts to answer these questions through the experiences of two siblings and their best friend who, since coming together at eleven years old and sharing the terrifying experience of a new school, have been inseparable.

Now, Madani (Isambard Rawbone), Maryam (Zarima McDermott), and Alex (Aoife Smyth) are bright-eyed teenagers on the brink of their GCSEs, drinking, partying, and having an all-round blast.

They’re ready to take on the world with their preconceived ideas of sex, bodies, friendship, and what the world really wants from them – what could go wrong?

Telling a difficult but necessary story, If This Is Normal tackles the importance of mutual, enthusiastic consent alongside the expectations from the consumption of porn and a lack of knowledge about our own bodies.

An important, and running theme in the play, is the realisation of how our families shape our ideals, conceptions, and even the image we have of ourselves.

Using the tactic that ‘less is more’, the production effortlessly entertained with its cast of three, and three chairs as props. This was all that was needed to convey the simple, yet paramount message: consent is everything.

If This Is Normal is an intimate reminder that our relationships, bodies, and feelings are entirely our own despite our surroundings.

It’s a must see for April.

If This Is Normal is at 53Two until Saturday 30th April. Tickets are available here.

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