Annie Siddons’ How (Not) to Live in Suburbia has returned to the Soho Theatre following a sell-out run earlier this year. This autobiographical play melds traditional storytelling with theatre and multi-media, the overall effect is an accomplished and compelling piece of theatre.
At times, it resembles a TED Talk, with Annie speaking directly to the audience, sharing her story in impressively complex alliteration and prose, which is almost hypnotic to listen to. Where a PowerPoint presentation would be, Annie’s monologues are intercut with video montages and music, which provide further context to the story she is telling.
A Londoner through and through, Annie moves to Twickenham – Home of Rugby, but struggles to fit in to the zone 5 crowd. Her attempts at social interaction never come to fruition and she suddenly finds herself desperately lonely. Metaphors are used heavily throughout and she describes her loneliness as a Walrus who is always with her; smelly and unpleasant it prevents her from really achieving her goals, despite frequently penning her own ‘manifesto’s’.
Annie herself is very open and natural, you immediately warm to her as a storyteller and find yourself deeply fascinated in the story she has to tell. It’s clear she’s not afraid to tell things like it is, making the performance feel extremely unmasked and laced with an acute wit.