Lockdown reviews: Since U Been Gone

This was a show which was on my radar at Vault Festival 2020 too late to fit it in, so I am delighted that Teddy Lamb has decided to make this recording of their Edinburgh Festival appearance last year available for a limited time on YouTube.

Since U Been Gone is an hour-long monologue about grief, gayness, gigs and gender. Lamb is a non-binary “lazy femme theatre nerd”. Using they/she pronouns, Lamb is the founder of the Theatre Queers meet-up in Soho and is an open, friendly performer who tackles deep and difficult subjects in a direct and devastating way.

Teddy Lamb. Image by Bronwen Sharp.

The loss of close friends cannot really be understood until it happens to you directly, but in Lamb’s monologue of love, loss and growing-up together, about boys and girls, music and art, and reality, you can reach in and hold their broken heart in your hand, clutch your fingers around their regrets.

Since U Been Gone is not an easy watch. Playing back and forth with memories, using just a bare stage and one musical accompanist (guitarist Nicol Parkinson, providing a constant underpinning beat, wearing a tight glittery dress). Lamb makes themselves vulnerable but also fights with the weapon of comedy.

Raw and bleak, “I remember saying tomorrow everything will be fine, but that’s bullshit”, Since U Been Gone deals with mental health, suicide and loss while “celebrating the end of homophobia”. The irony cuts deep, and the writing is sharp.

I’m not ashamed to say this show made me cry. It might not work completely, but then shows based on personal experience often do veer into dangerous territory, and they are stronger for it. “You died thinking I was a boy”. That cut me to the bone.

Teddy Lamb’s Since You Been Gone is still available at the time of writing on YouTube.