Cora Bissett’s What Girls Are Made Of is a show every girl and young woman should see, establishing that we’re all human: succeeding and failing, hurting and being hurt.
Stories of rock, touring, drinks and careers ending prematurely are not new – but a female perspective of it is still rarely seen. Cora Bissett, a Scottish artist whose musical career started just as she was finishing high school and whose band Darlinghearts signed one of the biggest record deals in the history of Scottish music, tells her story in What Girls Are Made Of.
In a Pixies t-shirt and black jeans, Bissett recounts what happened with music breaks in between. In both tasks, she’s helped by musicians/actors Simon Donaldson, Grant O’Rourke and Susan Bear – who take on roles of the different people Bissett met along the way.
The simplicity of What Girls Are Made Of‘s staging lends power to the storytelling. Cora Bissett found her old diaries as she was cleaning her parents’ house, and decided to make a gig-theatre performance about her time in the rock industry. Dreams becoming reality meets deceit and sexualisation along the way. The story is neither romantic nor gruesome – but loud, honest, heart-breaking and inspiring. And with this approach to the story, Bissett creates a show every girl and young woman should see. Cora is not a saint nor a sinner – girls are human, with every success and failure that this includes.
Outside of her rock-life, What Girls Are Made Of contains some very private moments when Bissett speaks about her relationship with her parents, her own pregnancies and miscarriages and romantic life. These snippets – relaying problems that many people can relate to – give audiences an opportunity to share in Bissett’s life experience and, moreover, serve to bring the rock-lifestyle narrative thread closer.
What Girls Are Made Of is a great show that should have a future beyond Fringe, hopefully with many schools organising a theatre visit. We need it.