Theatre review: In PurSUEt, theSpace, Edinburgh

We all have celebrities we idolise, perhaps even fantasise about.

Eleanor Higgins crafts a moving tragicomedy about addiction and obsession.
Eleanor Higgins crafts a moving tragicomedy about addiction and obsession.

In PurSUEt, theSpace, Edinburgh * * * *

In Eleanor Higgins’s solo performance, an unnamed woman tells the story of how admiration can become an obsession. Convinced that becoming Sue Perkins’s girlfriend is the answer to all her problems, she strives to be as close to her as possible as often as possible. What audiences may not be expecting is that this is not, in fact, a play about Sue Perkins. It is a play about alcoholism.

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Taking place in a therapist’s office, Higgins rambles about how the world has gone crazy; Trump, Boris Johnson, Brexit, and Pokemon Go (to throw in a fun one). It’s a tired diatribe that audiences have heard over and over since 2016. From here we learn obscure details about Sue’s life, and ruinous ones about her own, each more concerning than the last.

Here the show finds its stride. It acts as both a comedy of awkward encounters and crashing celebrity parties, and a painful drama about addiction, and finds a tragicomic balance between the two.

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