Charlotte Anne-Tilley takes you along for the wild ride of moving to London, from its early adrenaline-fueled highs to the crash to reality, in Almost Adult at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose. From flatmate feuds to navigating sexual harassment in the workplace as a young woman, the one-woman show deftly moves through several characters to paint a vivid picture of modern life for women.
You wouldn’t think that a woman in a dinosaur onesie could make you feel rage, hope, and sadness, all in a one-hour slot, but somehow Charlotte does just that. Her heartfelt performance makes a somewhat-predictable plot an easy watch, with a serious message to walk away with at its climax.
The weight of adulthood will likely stay with you long after Charlotte has left the stage. However, not spending enough time on the ending does leave the feeling of hope that Almost Adult attempts to depart with in quite a tenuous position. While Charlotte’s on-stage version of herself might feel hopeful, the audience is left concerned with how quickly she moved from her lowest point to an apparently positive look to the future.
Despite this setback, Charlotte’s earnest performance that truly captures the innocence and joy of young adulthood ties up even those flaws in an impressive bow. You feel like shaking some sense into the naive and big-hearted Hope – only for her to calmly acknowledge your fears and concerns for her within the show.
A strong performance meets a powerful message, only let down slightly with sometimes-repetitive conversations. Ultimately, Hope’s experience moving to London from Macclesfield echoes with the voices of thousands of women, standing just behind the curtain. A sadly universal experience is translated by a uniquely lovable character to heartwarming success in Almost Adult.