Heather Litteer’s Lemonade is an uncompromising glimpse into her life as an actress struggling to make a name for herself in New York. Unafraid to plunge herself into the darker, grittier roles, she plays strippers, prostitutes and junkies, waiting for her big break. She contrasts this with the relationship between her and her Southern mother who falls ill. We see the strain her erratic lifestyle puts on both her and her mother who only hears from her at the other end of a phone line.
Lemonade takes a closer look at the attitudes of society on those women who take the roles no one else wants and who are treated as if they are strippers or prostitutes because of the parts they play. Litteer’s monologue is bold and her confident performance creates a powerful impact on the audience. A variety of sound effects and props aid her portrayal of each scene but are not needed as the actress manages to create her own unique atmosphere.
However, the show is extremely fast paced, throwing the audience in at the deep end of Litteer’s high energy, which risks the initial scenes becoming buried as the audience struggle to keep up. At times the culture gap is evident and subject matter is lost in translation for British audiences. Furthermore, her transitions between scenes could be smoother, allowing the audience to adapt to the change of pace.
Yet, when we do catch up, Lemonade is a raw and honest depiction of misogyny in the film industry and tells a powerful story of a woman’s fight to be recognised.
Words: Nastassia Sutherland
Lemonade, Assembly Rooms, Aug 5-27 (not 14,21), 4.30pm