Bloody Elle, Traverse Theatre, Review

Lauryn Redding in Bloody Elle - Photo by Lottie Amor
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Traverse Theatre and Cloudrise Productions in association with Royal Exchange.
Lauryn Redding (writer / composer), Bryony Shanahan (director), Alexandra Faye Braithwaite (sound designer and additional composition), Mark Distin Webster (lighting designer), Amanda Stoodley (designer).
Lauryn Redding
Running time

Most shows start with a prologue, telling the whole story wrapped up in a bow but this story is different.  It’s not your average love story about a girl and a boy.

It starts with a girl called Elle, she’s not your average leading lady as well, a girl with a heart the size of a moon who expresses herself through her music.

With a rewind to the summer of 2009, we visit the flat of Elle’s family, ten floors closer to the clouds and the moon, a vertical village like one huge curtain twitching community.

Another dysfunctional work family awaits her at Chips and Dips, purveyor of beige carbs.  It’s here her world is rocked by the arrival of posh newbie Eve, on a gap before studying medicine at Oxford.  They are different in every way but there is a charge between them that has Elle feeling like she is losing control, invincible, like she could fly.  She’s drawn to her, like flies to blue light.  And it never ends well for them, does it?

This is a gig musical, or a monologue with songs and it’s in these looping tracks where, of course, she voices herself most lyrically, exposing her true feelings.  Staged concert style, the action moves between instruments and microphones as she effortlessly populates it with the often comedic characters.

The love story is mixed with themes of class, identity, expectations and possibility. 

This is a welcome return for this award-winning show.  It’s a hugely accessible, charming, funny and honest performance.

Redding wraps the audience around her finger, pulling them in, opening their hearts and there’s really nothing not to love.


Show Times: 8 – 13 August 2023 (times vary). (13 Audio described)

Tickets: £22 (£17).

Suitability: 14+ (Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes)