FRINGE REVIEW – Skin Hunger

Skin Hunger - Turquoise

By Megan Doherty

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“Skin Hunger” offers a thought-provoking journey through the tumultuous intersections of grief, faith, and sexuality, navigated through the lens of Eva, portrayed energetically by Tatiana Hotere. From the outset, the performance grabs attention as Eva, clad only in underwear, bursts on to the stage and and unpacks a box containing a large number and variety of dildos, setting a tone that is both provocative and engaging.

Through a series of flashback anecdotes, Eva recounts her fledgling romance, marriage, and subsequent loss of her husband to cancer, deftly slipping into various personas to propel the narrative along. Hotere’s command of physical comedy breathes life into each character, ensuring they resonate with authenticity rather than mere caricature.

Similarly, props are used for more than just the shock factor, cleverly repurposed throughout the show.

Although “Skin Hunger” touches on themes of mental health and illness, it primarily delves into grief, occasionally alluding to the multifaceted nature of mental illness without fully exploring its complexities. While this may disappoint those seeking a more nuanced portrayal of mental health, the show’s focus on grief remains poignant and relatable.

Hotere skilfully portrays the inner conflict arising from Eva’s strict Catholic upbringing juxtaposed with the physical needs of a forty-something widow, along with the added struggle of shame intertwined with grief. While these may not be universal experiences, there will be many in the audience who can relate at least in part.

Despite occasional over-explanation of jokes and acoustic challenges presented by the venue, Hotere’s performance shines through, delivering moments of laughter, poignancy, and raw emotion. The script navigates themes of shame, sexuality, and societal expectations with wit and sincerity.

While “Skin Hunger” may not satisfy those seeking a comprehensive exploration of mental health, its candid portrayal of grief offers a refreshing perspective on the human experience, and an affecting portrayal of a woman simply trying to figure out what to do with a life she didn’t choose.

3.5 Stars

To buy tickets to this show go here.

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