FRINGE REVIEW – The Story of Body

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 4.37.11 pm

By Louise Pascale

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Trigger Warning – this show talks about childhood trauma

The Story of Body was a lovely reminder that you won’t always see the most powerful or spectacular Fringe performances in the big tents in the Gardens. As with most treasurers, they are tucked away in venues spotted around the CBD. The Story of Body is playing at the Dom Polski centre in one of its main rooms. I will be upfront and say this is not the best choice for a production like this. It is a one person show with no microphone and while the room is set up for that kind of performance being separated from the bar/waiting area by a flimsy concertina door does not help. Thankfully all noisy distractions were only at the start.

The Story of Body is written by Shze-Hui Tjoa’s and is her story of being a child prodigy locked away to study music. It is based on of her dark days as a child pianist, and her long struggle with the resulting c-PTSD. It is beautifully written and I found myself on a mesmerising journey of her story right from the start to finish. It was sad and heartbreaking and performed by her friend Lim Shien Hiam.

The script moves between being a story that could be a boy or a girl, as sometimes the gender is not clear but that is incidental. It’s the journey you go on that is raw and honest. The person whose story you are in, is known as Body which is a clear delineation from Mind, who becomes a separate character. Body is the one who feels the impact of the abuse, while Mind is the one who is left to work out what to do with the fallout.

The trauma experienced by Body lives out throughout their 20s where they keep abusing their body through alcohol, BSDM and destructive relationships. It is not an easy journey to follow but the power of the story telling keeps you there.

The performance by Lim Shien Hiam is powerful and considering the intensity of the material is not over dramatic. But a calm telling of a story. Lim is the custodian of Shze-Hui’s lived experience and treats it with absolute respect. This is not for the light-hearted but for the discerning theatre goer who wants a bit of honesty, integrity and rawness with their Fringe night out.

5 Stars

To book this show go here.

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