In #DearDiary, Andi Snelling walks a fine line – and she knows it – between nostalgia and indulgence, reading extracts from the diaries she has kept most of her life.
One actor shows can be a tricky business, so it’s no surprise that actors who make one person shows for themselves mine their own lives. Comedians do it; see Corey White in The Cane Toad Effect. Cabaret artists do it; see Nick Eynaud in A Star is Bored. Even multi-lingual actor/improv artists do it.
Extracts from Snelling’s diaries from age nine through now are the launching pad for a show that investigates memory and loss and lost memory. Looking back on childhood things could simply be funny; the way her teenage self describes the perfect man is hilarious. But it’s also tough, as when 13-year-old Andrea describes the way she might become as attractive as the tall blonde thin girls that the boys all seem to like.
Snelling knows that a story about her life mined from her own words might come off as the ultimate “look at me” and she calls herself on it a few times throughout the show. Her honesty is refreshing and moving. The writing is impeccable. The performance is seamless. It’s an extraordinary show, full of heart and pathos. Or, as she promises in an early diary entry, full of things that happen, as well as emotion.
Go see, #DearDiary. It’s hashtag poignant.