The familiar loud screams, overexcited behaviour and exaggerated niceties are all too familiar to anyone who has attended a “stereotypical” hen party. When strangers are invited to celebrate the alleged “last night” of freedom of their relation, friend or work colleague anything can happen and often does. HYENAS is no exception.
Olivia Nicholson has bought her debut one-woman play HYENAS to the Counting House at the Edinburgh Fringe 2021. She was due to perform last year and as we know it was all cancelled due to the pandemic. Therefore this year she wasn’t going to let being seven months pregnant stand in her way. It’s far from ideal for her as she squeezes into a very tight red dress on stage, which to be honest looks rather uncomfortable. I admire her determination and energy to perform regardless.
HYENAS begins as four hen party goers first meet for a weekend in Marbella. Kirsty’s fiancee Harry hardly sounds like the man of any woman’s dreams and after one phone call my suspicions are confirmed. The alcohol flows, inhibitions are reduced and the hens party.
Lauren’s relationship with her husband Paul is over as she tries to mask the truth from the others. Her overly nice persona masking the hurt and trauma of life at home. The truth becomes apparent when we hear her taking a phone call from him while she’s in the toilet.
Nicholson’s performance is outstanding her ability to effortlessly switch characters and voices was faultless. Each of the four characters was completely different yet each one had their problems and lacked a certain amount of self-belief and masses of cringeworthy overconfidence.
Director Jonathan Brown and producer Jessica Forrest have helped Nicholson’s bring her dream to the stage as she now performs her brilliant one woman show in Edinburgh.
Although HYENAS is part of the free fringe due to all the restrictions this year all tickets need to be booked in advance for a small fee.