Theatre review: Skeleton Wumman, Glasgow

ON THE sea bed lies the skeleton of a woman, drowned when her village was swept away by a tsunami. She is dead, all right, but she is still there, she speaks, and she tells us her tale.
Skeleton WummanSkeleton Wumman
Skeleton Wumman

Skeleton Wumman - Oran Mor, Glasgow

* * *

It’s a strange, visionary story of a young woman whose life on earth was darkened by her own severe disability and by the death in a drowning accident of her perfect twin sister, but who, in this new world beyond death and global flood, gradually rediscovers herself, and eventually – miraculously – experiences a kind of rebirth.

In this new and longer version of the play, the story is told by the fine young actress Amy Conachan, whose own disability gives her a profound insight into that aspect of the story, notably in the pre-flood scenes on the sofa with her father, well conjured up by Buchan Lennon. In the end, though, there’s a mystical and deeply poetic aspect of this tale – captured in Seylan Baxter’s gorgeous live fiddle music – that seems just beyond Conachan’s reach. And that leaves the text’s shifts between rough contemporary Scots and soaring poetic fantasy looking slightly more disjointed than they should, in what remains a wild and fascinating piece of stage poetry.

Seen on 19.04.14

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