Teddy Lamb has lost two friends in the last ten years – one to a car accident, one to suicide. They’ve also changed their pronouns, found and lost a girlfriend, and worn a dress in public for the first time.
Produced jointly by The Queer House and HighTide, and directed by Breach Theatre’s Billy Barrett, Since U Been Gone is their autobiographical attempt to navigate the choppy sea of emotions that all that evokes. It’s undoubtedly a heartfelt show, but it's also a messy, muddled one too. Lamb bites off more than they can chew – it’s a show that tries to be about them, their struggle with gender, and their late friends all at once, and ends up not nailing any of that.
Lamb—who changes from a white jumpsuit, to pink underpants, to a bright blue dress as the show progresses—dives into their memories of Dom and Jordan, the two friends taken too soon. They jumps backwards and forwards in time, from high-school handjobs, to Taylor Swift concerts, to aborted attempts to commit suicide. Throughout, Nicol Parkinson supplies a cool, contemplative score live.
Lamb is a likeable performer, with a big, sad, sentimental smile. But although Since U Been Gone is born on a rising tides of grief and regret, it’s too diffuse to devastate like it wants to. Lamb slips and slides through memories that clearly mean a lot to them, but struggles to coalesce them into something coherent. It’s emotional, but unfocussed.