When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. This old adage is explored by Heather Litteer in Lemonade, a fascinating, richly textured autobiographical piece aimed at illustrating how women are manipulated and exploited in the entertainment industry.
Struggling to find her place in life, Litteer eventually finds satisfaction as an actor, albeit typecast in roles such as Bored Hooker or Trashy Blonde. Unable to break this pattern and unwilling to turn down work, Litteer’s big break comes in Requiem For A Dream, where she finds herself in one of the most vilified sex scenes in film history.
In this self-penned piece, Litteer explores the roles women are expected to play in life through her own experiences, though her complex relationship with her mother and through the roles she has been cast to play on film. It’s a heartbreaking concept because it soon becomes clear that Litteer is an intelligent, thoughtful stage performer capable of so much more.
Despite the parts she’s given, Litteer refuses to play the victim, and her consistent optimism in the face of appalling working conditions and casual misogyny becomes a defining feature of Lemonade. Sympathetically directed by Ellie Heyman, Litteer’s resilience in the face of adversity has become a tour de force.