Theatre review: West of Frances, theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh

An exemplary handling of an original idea
An exemplary handling of an original idea
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Frances works in obituaries, but no-one is dying.

West of Frances, theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Theatre 3 (Venue 53) * * *

She’s off to spit on a grave, her 39th this year, but this one is special. An old suitcase, an old leather-bound diary, have brought the memories of her Irish grandmother pouring into her, filling her up.

We catch up with her in an airport departure lounge. Her mother has heard her not leaving the house to get there three times in the last fortnight.

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Ella Blackburn plays Frances as shyly as her mousy, lonely character demands, completely in the role, and nicely delivers other voices in this solo piece.

The writing by Alannah Lewis – both are from Cambridge University –is an exemplary handling of an original idea, with satisfying asides (“collecting deaths gives some people purpose, like doing the crossword”).

I clocked the show at close to 45 minutes, and it might use filling out and more clarity in the reveal, though I’d hesitate to offer advice to this writer.

Until 24 August.

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