Initial Consult moved me. A powerful message and acknowledgement of reality run through Charlotte Grimmer’s Initial Consult, but I think words like “enjoyed” and “entertained” are still appropriate.
I was entertained by Charlotte Grimmer and a little intimidated by her as Charlotte stayed in character from start to finish, dragging her keyboard into the stage and launching into court-mandated therapy.
I enjoyed my Initial Consult, in any case.
We, in the audience, are each the therapist. We were given patient note cards to fill in as we took our seats. It also means that, occasionally, Charlotte Grimmer speaks directly to you.
What to Expect
Charlotte Grimmer’s character in Initial Consult is highly strung, anxious and probably trying to extract their daily dose of nutrients exclusively from caffeine and cigarettes just to keep those calories down.
There’s a trigger warning for eating disorders.
Initial Consult is a show about dealing with, or failing to deal with, life’s problems.
It’s also a show about the pressure today’s society puts on young people.
Listening, giving people a safe space to be themselves is part of this. Initial Consult reminded me how hard it was to be an empathic listener at times. I did form a bond with Grimmer’s character, which is an incredible success for the young performer, but she also felt so alien and unknown at times,
Vibe and Performance
Initial Consult might sound all series and sombre. It isn’t! There is singing and dancing throughout.
There is even tap dancing. I’ve now seen tap dancing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Without question, Initial Consult is up-close and personal. It’ll make you think, and I suspect some of those thoughts might be, “Thank goodness I’m not a therapist”. If you are a therapist, then Initial Consult might remind you of work. Charlotte Grimmer is a teacher in her day job. Make of that what you will.
Initial Consult is powerful, provocative and compelling. It’s a snapshot into a young woman who seems to be on a dangerous downward curve, and I think the jury is very much out on whether she can be rescued. Society is to blame, but we might not be the only problem; the character Charlotte plays seems especially willful.
I expected nothing as I queued for Initial Consult, I was curious as I took my seat, having been called Doctor and given a patient card to fill in, and I was impressed when I left.
I was impressed by Charlotte Grimmer’s intelligence and the power of her performance.
Worry, too; I’m worried about the mental pressure our young adults might not all be able to cope with.