Lily Phillips: Stitches Review

Lily Phillips’ ingeniously titled 'Stitches' is a work in progress you won’t want to miss. 

Lily Phillips: Stitches Review

Lily Phillips is really funny. Like, laughing out loud, snorting, wiping away tears funny. And when you’re not doing that you’re at total ease. A work in progress, Stitches is peppered with pauses, yet none of them awkward. Effortless on stage and armed with WIP notes, Phillips takes her time and savours her story. 

A Brighton comedy stalwart, the Caroline of Brunswick is a Fringe venue at its best. A room above a pub with some seats and a mic; no filler required. Amongst a variety of wonderfully inventive venues, the simplicity is welcome and almost nostalgic. Phillips matches the style by rocking up in jeans and t-shirt, standing up front, and making people laugh. 

Stitches is a tale of Phillips’ first ten months as a mother. Candid retellings of gynaecological medical encounters are brilliantly observed, their accuracy audibly hitting notes for many people in the room. Persistent parenthood deterrents sit amid well planted profanity. Expert audience interactions feel like honest connections, not just for effect first row fodder. Phillips is warm and incredibly likeable, but with an edge. She knows exactly when to push or leave off, and quickly forms a rapport; no mean feat for a Monday night. 

For a minute Phillips’ opening questions to the audience about their own experience felt a little too personal. Women without children, myself included, have spent many years deflecting unwanted questions surrounding whether we have or want kids, and initially my guard was up. However my concern was misplaced, allayed by Phillips’ best mate vibes delivery. You don’t have to give your mates trigger warnings, you just ask the question. Through well-timed wit and authentic delivery, Phillips manages to create an atmosphere both confronting yet safe-space. 

It is quite a skill to engage a room of people on the topic of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, mostly because not everyone has experienced it. Phillips acknowledges this early doors and weaves it into the show's narrative. It feels accessible to those who haven’t, and empathetic of those that have. If you liked Catastrophe, you’ll love Stitches

Lily Phillips has balanced classic stand up comedy with a bravely frank account of the trials of new motherhood. Stitches is hilarious and harrowing in equal measure. If this is work in progress, bring on the final product. 

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Author

Kerry Williams

Kerry Williams Local Reporter

Kerry Williams is a Sussex based writer and wildlife conservationist with a background in performing. She spends most of her free time birdwatching, laughing, and losing pub quizzes.

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