Of Course I’m Hot…I’m 50! is an engaging feminist play that addresses the responsibilities women take on throughout their lives that usually go unacknowledged, and the strain that comes with them. Whilst the execution was at times ropey, it has a good premise at heart, and in this day and age, any play starring, written and directed by women deserves praise and attention.
The metaphor that frames the story is really beating heart of the play. Caron Kehoe, the writer, co-director and protagonist, uses layers of coats as a metaphor for the many responsibilities women have to the people in their lives as a daughter, wife, mother and friend. And the play is really about how those responsibilities eventually become too heavy to shoulder alone. As a side note, my heart really does go out to poor Kohen wearing 5 coats in an unconditioned pub theatre, and the rest of the cast for that matter. Talk about immersive theatre! I felt like I was having a hot flush myself…
As we see Caron grow from a young girl getting her period to a woman entering the menopause, we see her put on more and more coats and watch the coats weigh her down. Below the premise, which gave the show structure as well as an interesting perspective, the writing was at times clunky and basic with characters that felt a little two-dimensional. Still, as the play addressed, the menopause is a subject people rarely acknowledge, let alone discuss, and seeing it as the a key aspect of a play was a new and exciting concept.
Kehoe’s character guides the audience through the story, and she stands out amongst the cast. It’s always wonderful to see new writing purposefully making space for older female actors in theatre, who, as a group, have for too long been shelved whilst male actors are allowed to keep working essentially until they drop dead. The rest of the cast were in keeping with the less commendable aspects of the script, delivering performances that were relatively mediocre, but still enjoyable.
Whilst aspects of Of Course I’m Hot were not perfect, the show is still a very pleasant way to spend an hour. And, whether they are on the West End or in pub theatres in North London, stories by and about women are so important and wonderful to see. I really hope to see Yellow Coat Theatre Company and other companies like it continue to produce plays like this one.
Of Course I’m Hot…I’m 50! played at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre until 8 August as part of the Camden Fringe. For more information, and other Camden Fringe shows, click here.