Jodie Irvine has taken a partly autobiographical approach to the cause and effects of domestic abuse predominantly the damage caused by the term of abuse referred to as gaslighting. Setting the party themed stage with various party items from party poppers to hats you could easily believe this was to be a light hearted play.
However, you soon begin to realise the story is far from light hearted. Dealing with the sensitive and often misunderstood subject of domestic abuse is a tough topic to approach sensitively. For many people who have not suffered, it’s hard to comprehend and the victim is often asked: “why did you let it happen?”
I especially liked her approach to splitting the show into five parties. I saw them as her journey of recovery and through pulling the relevant amount of party poppers each party is clearly defined. A clear indication that she was healing and moving forward throughout her two years of recovery.
Gobby focuses on the aftermath of abuse and the way in which relationships with friends change. However, as you watch the story unfold she also has to come to terms with dealing with the painful rejection from them too.
Becoming more aware and accepting of her so-called friends rejecting her. The epiphany takes place in which realises she has unwittingly changed who she was too through the trauma. This holds the major key in her recovery.
The celebration in party five of the solo party is the best party of the night. When the victim turned survivor can actually become at peace with themselves and enjoy their own company the healing process has come to an end.
Such a brave topic to speak out about and Irvine has found her new voice through Gobby. I hope anyone watching the show who is experiencing anything similar will seek help.
Written and performed by Jodie Irvine
Director Serafina Cusack
Assistant Producer Amy Toledano
Costume and Stage Manager Alex Milledge
Technician Hannah-Louise Batt.
Playing from the 1st-15th of August.
Underbelly Cowgate-Big Belly Venue 61 at 6.25pm daily.