Review: Cat Hepburn: #GIRLHOOD

An evocative exploration of what it is to be a young woman from talented poet Cat Hepburn

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 07 Aug 2019
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Credit: Tui Makkonen

If art for and about women is regularly relegated to ‘special interest’, then art about girls has an even lower status. In #GIRLHOOD, Cat Hepburn unapologetically celebrates teenage girls and young women in all their naive, messy, hilarious glory, elevating what is often seen as superficial and frivolous to something altogether more complex and significant. 

Hepburn is well established on the Scottish spoken word scene and it's easy to see why. Her delivery is confident, creative and word-perfect, in a show that weaves poetry and storytelling together with snippets of pop songs and recordings to bring the chronological tale of her own girlhood to life. The content will be achingly relatable for those of a similar age and background to Hepburn, but there is plenty here for a wider audience too. Her own experience is placed within a larger exploration of what it is to be a young woman at all, and the importance of sisterhood and solidarity. 

Guiding the audience effortlessly between light and dark, humour and emotion, Hepburn’s writing is perceptive and evocative, and her delivery self-assured and well crafted. It’s an energetic and refreshing spin on spoken word, without sacrificing any of the gravitas associated with the form. 

It would be easy to sell this show as a fun, nostalgic giggle for millennial women but to do so would be a disservice. In presenting girlhood as a full, complicated experience worthy of exploration, Hepburn makes a subversive and important contribution and pulls it off with ease.