You are browsing our archive of past reviews. Shows often evolve and develop as time goes on, so the views expressed here may not be an accurate reflection of current productions.

A range of emotions swirl in the auditorium as Melissa Booth shares her thoughts on being a bride, and whether her childhood dreams would come true. Something Borrowed is both a funny and an honest show, which explores Booth’s own desires for the special day and what it will be like spending life with her future husband.

Mostly, in our society, a wedding is stereotyped as the woman’s time – an opportunity to flaunt her dress, and live as part of a fairytale. Booth talks about her own expectations (and the ways she relates to Baby in Dirty Dancing), but she also opens up a different perspective, by sharing her partner’s ideas of what a wedding means. Nothing feels biased, and Booth’s honesty towards her own experiences make the performance surprisingly moving. It was especially hard-hitting when she spoke about family expectations; the pressures placed on women were made all too real, and I felt almost as if I was delving into Booth’s private diary as she shared her emotions with the audience.

One the day I attended, the audience was significantly made up of brides-to-be, who clearly identified plenty of points of reference and often chuckled in agreement at Booth’s comments. And although I personally can’t relate to the anxieties of marriage, she shone a light on aspects of feminism and relationships which I couldn’t help but sympathise with. The piece is much more than just a conversation about wedding planning.

Booth makes strong points in her opposition to patriarchal values, and her fight for the things she wanted on her own wedding day. A comparison between her own love story and a series of typical rom-coms made her arguments all the more genuine, as scenes were projected on a screen behind her.

At certain points in the performance, however, the change between a touching topic and something unrelated seemed too quick to me. Whilst a majority of the issues addressed were met with comedy, there were passages which I found far more emotional, and I would have preferred more of a flowing transition between the two.

But this was an enjoyable performance overall, and Melissa Booth offers a refreshing viewpoint on weddings: the harsh truth behind unrealistic expectations, family, and the lack of interracial wedding toppers. Pacing was the only real issue – but Booth still manages to keep the audience engaged and the energy high in her touching solo show.