entertainment, Reviews

Theatre Review: Change Your Own Life

Reviewing a theatre show is definitely a first for me, but I have good reason for doing so – and that reason is that this show was very fucking good. If you have ever wanted to change your own life, you best sit down and view this stunningly gut-wrenching one wahine show from a femme witch that speaks love and light, repelling hate and darkness. That said, the content is definitely heavy – fair warning to expect discussion of grief, trauma, death and mental illness in a very frank and open manner if you choose to grab yourself a ticket. Expertly interwoven into Sergent’s monologue are many laughs; often in the most unlikely places. The best part is, it is viewable online – so you can tune in no matter where in the world you are!

Tickets are available here. The show is running digitally and the season has been extended until 25 June at midnight NZST.

I don’t want to give anything away, and I will keep my thoughts short and sweet (that’s an outright lie, but I will certainly give my best attempt), but I honestly felt like I was absorbing by some sort of digital osmosis all the wisdom of an oracle, except the oracle was Jean, and the wisdom was that shit happens: it’s painful and it’s not fair, but we get to choose what we do next, and that if we lean into pain, it can make us wise.
Essentially she de-cliché-ed a bunch of incredibly healing advice and guidance. One of the best things we can do for ourselves are to not hate ourselves: i.e. to be kind to our minds and cut them some slack when they get a bit dark and go a bit weird. Easier said than done, I tell ya! But self-love is both incessantly necessary and always relevant.

It’s going to be really hard to hate yourself
when you’re not doing anything wrong

Jean Sergent, Change Your Own Life

This beautiful piece of prose breathes life. To me, it says quite simply – rid yourself of any guilt or shame. I am realising that sometimes it can feel a little bit radical to actually love yourself in this world. A lot of us aren’t very good at it.

That doesn’t mean we should avoid blame, or that we should deny it when we do wrong things. More so, it’s about not holding ourselves accountable beyond what is reasonable, and not beating ourselves up about ‘wrong’ things at the expense of us suffering further. It is a very human thing, to make mistakes.

In short, the realness and the rawness of this performance got me good. I don’t cry in movies (or theatre shows) but this one had me tearing up. In one breath, it would almost whisk me away in the heaviness, and in another it would sucker-punch me with a quip that had me cackling like an old woman. Honestly, I need to rewatch it: there was so much there. I need to process it and take it all in slow mouthfuls.

For more info: https://bats.co.nz/whats-on/change-your-own-life/

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