Bristol Theatre Reviews

Review: There Was A Little Girl at the Wardrobe Theatre Bristol

Millie Wood-Downie, Brought her one-person show – There Was A Little Girl, to The Wardrobe Theatre last night. It was an energetic and unique facet to the current discourse around gender identity. Those who navigated their way through the time of Nuts, Ladette to Lady and reality TV shows like Club Reps are likely to have found it highly relatable.

During these years, women were finally beginning to break free from the rigidity of gender stereotypes fueled by the good old British binge drinking culture. A time when boozing, brawling and stumbling out of clubs drenched in utter chaos became Equal Opportunities.

There Was A Little Girl was Millie’s journey through that. Emerging from the cherubic blond curls and pink frills, through Tammy Girl was her developing alter ego Michael, who burst through with a tub of mud, tearing through assault courses at break-neck speed.

The show is performed through original song, late 90’s and early 2000’s pop culture and references, karaoke, comedy, video and Ginger Spice highlights.

One of the peak moments was nurse Regina Speculum and a contraceptive pill Bingo. Through the satire of US abstinence education, Regina brought gentle audience interaction as she ran through different types of pills, the side effects and how those impacted on Millie.

Rather than offer po-faced answers, through Millie’s experiences, the show invites and opens up the opportunity for people to go on their own gender journey of discovery. That it’s never too late to start if it’s a journey you are looking to make and to tread cautiously around our perceptions of what ingrained gender stereotypes means.

The restriction of gender stereotyping reveals that judgement can also be misogynistic. It’s both simple yet complex when breaking free from gender restrictions also means potentially staggering into new ones.

Overall the show is a blast. Millie Downie-Wood is a gregarious performer, filling the venue with her large personality that engages the audience and brings them into her story.

Refreshingly, we are told at the start of the show that this is a ‘relaxed’ show, meaning that if people needed to get up and leave and come back, that it was fine to do so. Some minor content warnings were announced and permission was given to take photos. It created a safe and friendly atmosphere.

For more information about the show, visit: