Laura Desmond emerged from behind a black curtain, holding a beer and dressed only in her underwear. This one-woman show demanded my attention from the first second and what followed was an extended monologue delivered by a talented young playwright.

Laura Desmond. Photo supplied.

Desmond had a powerful message to deliver, one that only a courageous actress could convey. Her gritty realism struck a nerve as she recounted anecdotes that were controversial and personal to her.

Sitting in the intimate venue felt like listening to a close friend confide in you their darkest secrets. It was a timely performance with a subject that is too often tucked away in the shadows.

Here was a young actress baring her soul through theatre.

The depth of her self-expression and vulnerability was captivating as she used her art to tell stories that the average person would prefer to remain hidden.

Not only was her acting commendable, she also had a pleasant singing voice that played an important part in her story. Carefully selected lyrics from songs such as ‘Dancing On My Own’, ‘Torn’, and ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ reiterated her social commentary.

With a background in music and drama, she struck the right balance of music within the content of this show. Desmond brought to the surface issues associated with sexual consent, self-worth, and guilt as she explored the complexities of human relationships.

As the first piece she has written and presented, Socially [Un]acceptable is an important and relevant theatrical performance by a writer and performer with integrity. If this is the quality of her debut as a playwright, then I look forward to seeing more of her work.

Rating ☆☆☆☆1/2

Reviewed performance: 20 February 2018

Season: 15 February – 2 March
Time: 6.00 pm
Venue: The Producers, Adelaide

8 March – 11 March
Time: 8.00 pm
Venue: The British Hotel, Port Adelaide

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