Theatre review: Her Right Mind, Greenside (Venue 231), Edinburgh

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Only a dissatisfying ending denies this heartfelt and very inventive little show by Rugged Isaac Theatre a higher star rating.

Her Right Mind

Greenside (Venue 231)

Star rating: * * *

Combining conventional drama and passages of flowing, rhythmic, almost dance-like physical theatre in slickly flowing fashion, it’s a gently affecting story of a sister’s attempts to build and preserve a safe and structured world for her mentally unstable brother.

After a fun and dynamic opening scene where the siblings repeat a kind of everyday ballet of rise and shine, work, rest and play, we’re introduced to Jack, who shows symptoms of autism, and Jill, who lovingly cares and provides for him in a comfortable London home.

Jack spends his days obsessively restoring old slides of a childhood family holiday – one that’s later revealed to have been of grave significance – until he’s coaxed by his sister into taking an office job. When he begins a relationship with a co-worker which causes him to gradually drift out of Jill’s orbit, her anger and worry – which at first seems born of simple jealousy – prove to have sad foundation in a terrible transgression of the past.

The scenes where ill-defined omnipresent observers gather to pass comment on events don’t work, and the finale is frustratingly abrupt and ambiguous, but it’s easy to imagine these shortcomings being ironed out with further development.

Until 25 August. Today 5:20pm.