'she looked like a girl, but she was actually a door. And when they opened her up, they found stairs stairs stairs all the way down...'
Created a Monster collaborated with artist Elisabeth Gunawan on the R&D and first showing of Unforgettable Girl in October 2020. The piece was written and performed by Elisabeth Gunawan, directed by Briony O'Callaghan and Simon Gleave, designed by Charlie Wood and with Sound design by Richard Durning.
The piece was performed next at Golden Goose Theatre in London, September 20th - 25th 2021, and at Voila! Europe in November 2021 where it picked up a ★★★★★ review from The Stage "(It) is a standout show that keeps the audience at the midpoint between laughter, discomfort and horror." and an Offie for best show.
Unforgettable Girl has won an Offie for Best Show (Voila!); Pleasance Generate Award 2023; The Stage Debut Award (Best Performer) and will be showing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 (details below)
Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Beneath), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Wednesday 2nd – Monday 28th August 2023 (not 16th ), 15:40
Winner of the Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Fund, Unforgettable Girl was written by and stars Elisabeth Gunawan, who received The Stage Debut Award winner for Best Performer in a Play for the play’s previous two-night run. Kyll Anthony Thomas Cole (Flabbergast Theatre’s Macbeth; Told by an Idiot’s Would You Bet Against Us?) completes the cast for this Offie Award- winning production. The piece is directed by us, Created a Monster, whose work - tending always towards bouffon, the art of mockery - uses bright, sharp theatre languages to explore dark, hellish worlds.
Money can’t buy love, but £19.99/month gets you Unforgettable Girl, a mail-order bride direct from the wasteland of Asian stereotypes. As she strives to become unforgettable, she is forced to transform, destroy and rebuild herself in order to survive. This irreverent bouffon-inspired myth is about the violence our culture inflicts on bodies of colour.
Unforgettable Girl was originally conceived by Gunawan while at RADA in response to her experience as the only East Asian actress in the entire school. As a woman of colour, there was a paradoxical privilege to being given entry into white spaces: it saw her constantly pushed to the margins – forgotten, condescended to, ignored, less than.
This no-holds-barred production interrogates and amplifies the experience of the homo sacer, a dehumanised person rendered dispensable – in this case Vaccine, a mail order bride. Vaccine is a lethal dose of uncomfortable honesty, a playful bouffon whose grotesque tragedy reveals an unflinching mirror of the white gaze.
Unforgettable Girl delicately probes the awkward, almost violent line that connects these two worlds of whiteness and the other. The piece uses comedy and transformation to guide the audience through shame and guilt into shared experiences of laughter and insight. It challenges the limitations of the white experience and points to the systemic forces that subjugate us all, including those who privilege from it., whilst honouring the experience of someone who is squeezed and degraded through the white lens, and celebrating the defiant claim to survival and love. Its creation was a dialectic between the solitary experiences Gunawan described, and a rehearsal room where the white gaze is ever-present, resulting in a beautifully dangerous piece.
Elisabeth Gunawan comments, Women of colour are constantly marginalised from narratives of womanhood, beauty and freedom. Our bodies and images are constantly exoticized, commodified and shaped as other and profane. Unforgettable Girl was born from that place in the margin we all go, but when we go, we always go alone: an intangible place of fear, desperation and life-giving anger. I’m glad this piece can take a solitary experience and broaden it into something that can contain and captivate an audience for an hour—and playfully challenge them on their complicity within structures that uphold a Eurocentric status quo.
Performance Dates Wednesday 2nd – Monday 28th August 2023 (not 16th ), 15:40
Captioned Performance 23rd August
Running Time 1 hour
Location Pleasance Courtyard (Beneath), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Box Office Tickets are available from www.pleasance.co.uk
Weekday: £13 (£12)
Weekend: £14 (£13)
Writer / Performer Elisabeth Gunawan
Performer Kyll Anthony Thomas Cole
Directed by Briony O’Callaghan and Simon Gleave
Movement Consultation Matej Matejka
Costume and Props Design Charlie Wood
Scenography and Video Erin Guan
Sound Design Richard Durning
Lighting Design Susie Su
Stage Management Tan Qian Yan
Producer Khai Ramli
Co-producer Pleasance Theatre Trust
Page | 3
Notes Ages 14+
Social Media @elisabettygun @createdamonstertheatre #UnforgettableGirlShow
All enquiries, high res images and further information:
Chloé Nelkin Consulting
E: firstname.lastname@example.org, M: 07764 273 219 (Chloé)
Crowdfunding link: https://gogetfunding.com/unforgettable-girl-at-edinburgh-fringe-festival/
“A work of depth and beauty... Through the character of an East Asian mail order bride the work interrogates and challenges the privileging norms in society that we are asked to accept often without question. The themes are explored with complexity, nuance, sophistication and humour. Elisabeth Gunawan moves deftly between comedy and pathos, she delivers a tour de force with her performance and she is definitely one to watch.”
-Kristine Landon-Smith, Olivier award-nominated theatre director
“Funny and haunting. A piece with heart and an authentic voice.” -David Glass, TMA-winning theatre director
“Hilarious and disturbing... Blends theatrical form to stunning and genuinely challenging effect.” -Daniel York Loh, writer, actor and activist
“Unforgettable, terrifying and hilarious... Transformative and mythic.” -Ian Morgan, director and theatre-maker
“Enriching and correctly painful piece of work... a thought provoking, funny and insightful piece on a harrowing subject. This is innovative work.”
-Peta Lily, Dark Clown creator, award-winning performer and theatre-maker
Unforgettable Girl was made possible by the generous support of Bloomsbury Festival, RADA and Arts Council England.