#18 Good Girl

Comedy ( Storytelling, Theatre ) Just the Tonic @ Mash House

Confident reveal-all comedy storytelling hour from natural raconteur Naomi Sheldon. The Good Girl boldly, unflinchingly shares a raw story of girlhood, and the pains and joys of growing up a woman. All backed up by sweet ABBA beats.

Mixing levity and depth with admirable ease, Sheldon leads us through the turmoils of teenage intensity and the suffocating numbness we sometimes feel inside. The language is visual and expressive, and emphasised brilliantly by Sheldon's gesturing and manoeuvring on the tiny attic stage. Very hard to believe this for a debut project.

The Good Girl dispels the standard narrative of how a girl ought to be, absolving all those caught between reality and the good girl image. Those who swallowed their emotions and true colours just to get by. A shout goes out to all who feel misplaced and misfit - or simply FEEL strongly: You are not alone!

The show entertains all the way through, though the climax is just a little off the mark, and the sober punch line is hurried in from the side door. We go too fast from teenage troubles to the cold, hard adult world, but on the other hand, that is exactly how that transition happens.

A candid, droll story of growing up. Mandatory watching for all those who want to understand teenage girls and young women - themselves very much included.