Amelia’s Magazine | Please don’t feed the Models

Sara Strandring (who has graced the covers of Vogue, Marie Claire and a billboard in Times Square) stars in a sixty minute rendition of a Kiwi’s model’s first tentative steps into the fashion world at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden. Based in a Tokyo model apartment, Strandring enacts over six characters including an air head American girl, a drunk Russian (who fittingly drinks vodka), a camp bloke who spouts phrases like ‘I love you-mean it’) along with: a sharp tongued Irish girl Sheila, Debbie who is a coke addict and Shelly who she chooses to leave without a voice.

Although the play boasts ‘sixty minutes of belly busting laughs’ and ‘a unique and funny insight to this cut throat world’ it barely raised a chuckle. Strandring keeps Shelly’s voice vacant in order for the other characters to work off. However the multitude of characters feel crowded. Having the characters work off a silent figure allows Shelly to become the protagonist in this tale yet the other characters lack enough depth to properly sustain the show.

From the first scene where she voices a Japanese agent, it emerges that Strandring has a talent for accents and she is quick off the mark in changing and adopting different characteristics. However, despite this, it is hard to get over the fact that the whole scenario of models in an apartment, bitching, having eating disorders, a little drug and drink problem is worryingly not anything that surprises anymore-if you want a shock go and buy ‘Pick me Up’ magazine.

Shelly finally finds her voice in the last scene where she writes a letter to a friend, detailing her bizarre experience. Throughout the play there are moments of darkness, for example, when she unnervingly notes that she hasn’t heard from Debbie who suffered a drug problem. But all moments are covered by glossy cliché d jokes and easy laughs. Even the characters and problems themselves are stereotyped. Sadly, ‘Please don’t feed the models’ is as predictable and shallow as the title. If you want to save yourself a few quid go and watch ‘America’s Next Top Model’.


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