Seen at Edinburgh Festival Fringe on the 10th of August 2022
3 stars – 60s rollercoaster
Chickie is a mother, a wife who tries her best to keep her husband close to her and her children, but first of all a courageous woman in search for happiness and freedom. The play tackles the issues that a hippie lifestyle confronts a woman with, especially in the passage from couple to family. This true story is written in a fascinating way by Frankie Regalia (who directs it as well), and the staging provides an effective reconstruction of the atmosphere of the 60s and 70s in California.
Narrative and songs are intertwined beautifully, the music being a balanced counterpoint to spoken word. Elliott Chase interprets the protagonist and narrator of the musical and her acting is stunning, as she swiftly shifts between moods and characters. It seems to me even more cinematic than theatrical as her voice should have more energy to fill the scene.
The musicians Paven Rai, Calum Harrison, and Ryan Lester (directed by Helen Potter) are talented, but they are not given enough space in the performance, which is centred on the actress. The extremely fast-paced play doesn’t always allow to process the passages between a scene and the next, nor to have the time to fully embrace emotions without being presented with the next events and new emotions connected to them. Respect of stage time, as well as a couple of direction solutions, could be easy steps that bring great improvement.
5-27 Aug; 1.45 pm
Running time: 1 hour
Venue 236: Greenside @Infirmary Street – Forest Theatre
Tickets and Info: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/hippie-shakes
Company Website: https://www.sweatypalmsproductions.com/