Hear Me Raw is a brilliant one woman show, written by and starring Daniella Isaacs, which aims to answer the question: what does wellness mean?
The show’s audience is quickly introduced to Isaacs as Green Girl, a lifestyle blogger who has dedicated herself to ‘clean living’. After encouraging the audience to take part in her pre-show ‘re-energising meditation’, she begins to explain what it means to live a clean lifestyle while making a beetroot matcha smoothie with only ‘raw’ ingredients.
Throughout the show, Ella begins to get stressed and as her confident and happy facade starts to fall she makes mistakes with her smoothie. Ella’s ingredients and appliances begin to turn against her and the audience becomes witness to her increasingly messy mental breakdown that includes both rubbing matcha powder on her eyelids and snorting turmeric.
When the show nears its end, Isaacs reveals that the show is, in fact, autobiographical, and it details her descent into Orthorexia Nervosa – a lesser-known eating disorder that involves an obsession into a so-called ‘healthy’ lifestyle. Isaacs has suffered from mental health problems for as long as she can remember, making her vulnerable to the illusion of control that often accompanies ‘clean living.’
Despite the show’s serious message, Isaacs manages to inject a ‘healthy’ amount of humour into the show, by making fun of the various, often ridiculous, habits and mantras of lifestyle gurus.
The show’s use of sound and props was incredibly effective when portraying Isaacs’ family and friends, perfectly conveying the impact that her condition has had those close to her as well as herself. The entire performance was impeccably timed, an impressive feat in a show that relies so heavily on tech.
Directed by Rosie Banham, Hear me Raw’s immersive nature takes storytelling a step further. Inviting the audience to witness Isaacs’ journey first-hand illuminates her vulnerability which in turn strengthens the show’s message. This show teaches us that the matcha isn’t always greener in the other latte. She teaches us that “life is ditzy, silly, messy and confusing”, that it has “no rules or recipes” and we all have to make the best out of what we have.
In Hear Me Raw, Isaacs takes her audience behind the Instagram filter, allowing them to understand the truly destructive nature of her new wellness obsession. Isaac’s honesty is really refreshing, she shares intimate details surrounding her condition – outlining its severity. Daniella Isaacs’ fantastic acting combined with the show’s many twists and turns make Hear Me Raw a brilliant show that should be seen by everyone, whatever their diet.