FRINGE REVIEW: If My Body Was A Poem
After a bad case of Mondayitis Maddie Godfrey’s If My Body Was A Poem was the life source we all needed. When we entered the room Maddie lay in split position on the floor. Damn, she knows how to make a first impression. If you find another Fringe show that greets you in this way, and then proceeds to wow you in the way Maddie did, I will buy tickets for you myself. As the anthems of countless female icons played, with Maddie’s name soon to be added to the list, the audience sat in agonising anticipation, so much anticipation that if a member of the full room had heckled for it to get started I would have been pleasantly surprised.
And get started it did; just a girl, feelin' herself, on a stage in front of 50 strangers. She introduced the audience to her body, one freckle at a time, and it became the vessel for an extraordinary piece of storytelling. Maddie has a way of finding infinite meaning in the ordinary, and with a tone that could make the mountains sit up and listen she melted hearts last night. Walking and dancing us through her onstage ‘bedroom’ her personal journey became ours, life experiences shared with a vulnerability that has never been seen before. If you don’t like to feel things, please go to this show. Maddie will teach you how. She opens you up and asks you to look inside, with a bold combination of academic thought, in the form of feminine theory, and a sense of the personal portrayed through truly transformative poetry.
As a celebration of all that our bodies are capable of Maddie worked up a sweat onstage and made the audience feel as if they should’ve got up and celebrated too. This performance is not about what is on the page or the stage, but social change, where participation is paramount. Using imagery that sweeps you out of the room and into her own world, a beautiful world despite being broken in places, she will teach you honesty, and she will teach you hope. In all my life, I have never heard a silence louder than that after Maddie uttered the word ‘consent’. What Maddie has to say is important, I cannot reiterate that enough. In a world where safe spaces are a rarity and there is so much that goes unsaid this show is brave, and speaks without being spoken to.
The show struck a chord with everyone in the room. A chord that manifested itself in the goosebumps on my arms, and the innumerable hugs Maddie received after the show. No one walked out of that room the same as they came in. Trust me when I say, you will walk out changed; standing up a little straighter, holding hands a little tighter. Love yourself a little this week. Go see this show.