Theatre review: Camille Claudel, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), Edinburgh

CAMILLE Claudel was the model, assistant and lover of the sculptor Auguste Rodin. She was also a fine sculptor in her own right. ***

Camille Claudel

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

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Star rating: * * *

But the sexism of the time, the disapproval of her family and the behaviour of Rodin – who had a tumultous affair with her, while refusing to leave his long-term partner – meant she faced a life of struggle. She spent her last 30 years in an asylum.

Writer and performer Gael Le Cornec (known on the Fringe for her acclaimed show, Frida Kahlo: Viva La Vida!) gives us a vivid depiction of Claudel: beautiful, playful, volatile, headstrong, far ahead of her time in her belief that art is genderless, and her belief in herself as “a modern woman”.

But the narrative seems at times confused. Time shifts and chronology are not sufficiently clear. One minute she is in Rodin’s atelier, the next in hospital, the next drinking and destitute. Le Cornec is a wonderful, flamboyant performer, even if her attempts to prompt audience participation fall somewhat flat on this lunchtime crowd, but she must pay more attention to the nuts and bolts of structure and plot if she is to tell Claudel’s story in all its power.

• Until 27 August. Today 1:30pm.