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The Last Time I Saw Caileigh

The Last Time I Saw Caileigh, devised by Victoria Sasso, Harun Cehovic, Mattias Moret, and Helen Percival has just begun its UK Tour. The Last Time I Saw Caileigh follows Caileigh, a young person coming to terms with their gender identity. Theatre that explores conversations around trans experiences are sorely needed in the industry right now as trans rights come under fire regularly across the globe. However, The Last Time I Saw Caileigh offers these conversations in highly predictable ways. Gender is expansive, nuanced, and complex, and unfortunately The Last Time I Saw Caileigh is none of these things. However, it is a very honest piece of theatre, clearly drawn from lived experience.


An audience member may very well see themselves in this piece, and that alone makes it a special play. However, it is generally unclear who this play is for. Audience members who are well-versed in discussions about gender identity are unlikely to learn anything new in this piece; and those who are likely to learn something new are not likely to be reached with this piece, as it floats on the surface of these discussions and shies away from really diving in.

 

Dramatically, a lot more time was spent discussing issues and events instead of showing said events and the reactions around them. At times, it appears as though the themes are the protagonist of this piece, not the titular Caileigh, which undercuts the goal of humanising trans and gender expansive people.



The Last Time I Saw Caileigh hits all the right points and uses all the right buzz words, but loses sight of Caileigh until the final quarter of the piece. The stand out moment was the final moment between Caileigh and their friend Maxime, which beautifully explored the ways in which even queer-run and queer-supported spaces can perpetuate harm to others in the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly against trans, non-binary, bi, and pan members. Identity erasure is a massive problem both within and without the queer community, and The Last Time I Saw Caileigh does a beautiful job of exploring that in this scene. Additionally, Caileigh’s final monologue is technically well written but the audience was left with an unclear ending.

 

All in all, I hope this play offers a glimmer of hope to those who need it and as the play continues growing and shaping, I hope the creators take into account the seemingly inadvertent decentering of Caileigh in their own narrative.

 

You can see The Last Time I Saw Caileigh at Baron’s Court Theatre from 11-12 June, in Birmingham from 5-6 September and in Liverpool from 19-21 September.


⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3*)


Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography provided by PR

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