Vanessa Earl, My Sky is Big

Review in Issue 9-4 | Winter 1997

The dream of flying is a longing for escape, a desire to free the imagination. This concept is radiantly brought to life in My Sky is Big, a work in progress written by Robert Young and performed by Vanessa Earl.

This exquisite and dramatic monologue to the frustrations and bizarre fantasies of childhood, centres around a young girl who is convinced that she can fly and can therefore escape the dullness of adolescence. Even her desire for security is expressed in an avian manner. Snatching at coloured sweet wrappers, she creates a safe and shiny nest where she can hide from her otherwise drab and loveless life.

In a swift forty-five minutes, Vanessa Earl switches with ease from frenetic physicality to moments of focused intensity. Coaxing every nuance from Young’s tight and varied script, she fills the stage. Huge shadows loom behind her, symbols of the fearful adult world she is soon to join. From the first strangulated squawk which perfectly evokes the image of a child desperately straining into adulthood, Earl uses her expert physical and vocal skills to seduce the audience into the girl’s world.

The main character defiantly shouts, ‘I’ve seen the future, and it’s me!’ For Earl and Young this could be true.

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Issue 9-4
p. 23