Review: Perfectly Imperfect, Ovalhouse

What is perfect? Danyah Miller asks the audience this very daunting question, prompting some terribly uncomfortable looks around the theatre. ‘Perfection’ is no doubt subjective, whether one is talking about the perfect house or the perfect weight and Danyah explores this notion of perfection through storytelling and thought provoking interaction with the audience.

As you walk into the theatre, you can’t help but notice the chatty blonde woman sitting down beside some audience members. Her luminous energy makes it undoubtable that Danyah is our storyteller for the night. The audience participation and interaction is an integral part of the show, with Danyah dispelling any apprehension or tension in the room, allowing people to feel comfortable enough to interact and take part in the story. Perfectly Imperfect is an exploration into the relationships between mothers and daughters, our relationships and how they affect our life and decisions. Danyah’s delivery is magical and touching as she brings her audience through her relationship with the women in her family. The incorporation of fairy tales into the tempestuous and complicated relationship she had with her mother is light hearted and emotional. Danyah’s physicality through the show is an energizing force – each meticulous movement is delivered with immense purpose. In the centre of the room there is an over-sized chair with various stacked tables underneath, representing the generations of women in her family. The chair is transformed throughout the show into objects as varied as a vanity table, a Queendom and a boarding school. The chair encourages the audience to use their imagination, something that as adults we are not regularly encouraged to do. Danyah is fast paced and captivating in her set changes, as well as the sound and costume transformations. It is all very minimal, but none the less incredibly effective.

Perfectly Imperfect is perfectly captivating and inspires one to let go and move on. From the audience engagement throughout the show it is evident that each and every person in the room was thinking of their own family relationships. It is an emotional experience that is shared by everyone in the room and gives them ample time for reflection. Danyah has created a sentimental and refreshingly honest show with huge dollops of charm thrown on top. It is clear that her heart is in this tale which means the audience too are able to have a full and open experience.

Perfectly Imperfect played at the Ovalhouse until 10 March.

Photo: Ludovic des Cognets