'How we begin’ is a joyous celebration of bisexuality, love and identity penned by Elisabeth Lewerenz and directed by Elizabeth Benbow, both of Surfacing Acts Theatre. It is currently showing at VAULT Festival from February 14 -19 2023. The piece was full of joy, queer magic and celebrated an underrepresented and misrepresented group within the LGBTQIA+ community.
It was so refreshing to see a female-led queer story reflecting the university and 20-something generation. Coming out on-screen within our contemporary lens has been dictated by teenage coming of age stories, while important, often portray white cis-gender gay male relationships rather than exploring the nuances of queerness and the wider LGBTQIA+ community. How We Begin was uplifting, hopeful and the piece resonated with me as so many queer characters across all media often ending up dealing with hardship and trauma at every turn.
The design featured bisexual pinks and purples galore, not once distracting from the importance of the dialogue. The feature of intimacy (interestingly and expertly choreographed) and discussion of female pleasure rarely heard on stage was powerful. Even hearing the word ‘bra’ was exciting! The phenomenal performances by Talia Pick and Emma Lucia aided the story by directly engaging the clearly connected audience in the action. Again, showing the importance of and demand for this work within the festival but also the British Theatre scene.
How We Begin portrayed a loving, complicated and relatable relationship between two equally as loving, complicated and relatable women. VAULT Festival champions these stories and it’s important for this venue to live on to bring these voices and stories into the light where they should always have been. It’s five stars from me!