Ever felt like you were stumbling through life rather than running it? Living in London can feel like a sprint sometimes, barging up and down escalators and chasing pay cheques whilst trying to hold family and friends, a career and a love life together in your sweaty palms. As if that wasn’t enough, you meet stumbling blocks along the way, like: what day do I need to put the bins out? How many weeks is it acceptable not to wash my sheets? Will I ever be grown-up enough to be in bed by ten, or to do a weekly shop?

Maddie is marking “the big three-zero” by running a marathon, tied to a glitter-filled golden balloon. It is filled with the promise of celebration at the finish line, but as she runs reluctantly towards it and her waiting boyfriend, she doesn’t know if she’ll make it. Or even if she wants to. The finish line is just the beginning of a future she’s not sure she’s ready to meet. But boy, does she want to sling that medal round her neck and beat that pantomime horse.

If you’re a 20- or 30-something this might be the most painfully relatable show you see all festival – or indeed all year – or perhaps ever. Maddie’s ambition to run a marathon is matched admirably by solo writer/ performer Grace Chapman’s ambition to run almost continually throughout the fifty-minute show, expertly timed to a soundtrack of her own thoughts. Maddie converses with her own consciousness like a frenemy that knows her all too well, her self-doubt rising and ebbing as the sweat patches on her top expand…

Click here to read this review in full at The Play’s the Thing UK…

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