This Bitch Can Heal at The VAULT Festival: A jumbled narrative lets down this postmillennial drama about life as an environmental activist

“An insider’s account of life on the Extinction Rebellion frontline, it seems to ask, how much caring is too much?”

Pink Splat Productions present us their first show for the Vault Festival as a company, This Bitch Can Heal. This is the story of one environmental activist’s race against the climate crisis. Accompanied by a live somnolent synth soundtrack, Jack pedals eagerly towards the epicentre of London’s latest mass civil disobedience operation. But at home, their loyal girlfriend waits, and she’s having a hard time getting behind Jack’s recent obsession with Extinction Rebellion.

This hour-long vignette of postmillennial angst is a tapestry of our current societal uncertainties, from the gig economy to gender politics and the environment. It poses questions like, if politics is broken and direct action is the only way to get anything done, how does one strike up an activism/life balance?

The show isn’t oblivious. It discusses the pressing issue of Extinction Rebellion’s knack for alienating everybody outside the liberal slice of the suburban middle-classes but has the integrity to stick to its guns on the climate strikes.

An insider’s account of life on the Extinction Rebellion frontline, it seems to ask, how much caring is too much? What happens when we push away, not only our fellow citizens, but the people who love us, our family and personal responsibilities? 

But for all the pedalling, it just never left the ground. The distracting rattling of the bicycle, the bizarreness of the soundtrack, the jumbled-up nature of the narrative cost a fair amount of mental energy to keep up with. After a while, it lost me. Like a lot of protest movements, and protest art too, we have to be careful not to get caught up in our own wheels. 

This Bitch Can Heal will be on at The Vaults on Leake Street from the 28th to 30th January 2020

Rex is studying for a BA in English and Drama at Goldsmiths. He is especially interested in new political writing, theatre directing and contemporary French and German theatre.

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