Theatre review: Awake

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: A strong virtuoso performance by Miranda Colmans anchors this debut solo show which impressively evokes the twilight world of the insomnia sufferer.

Laughing Horse @ The Cuckoo’s Nest (Venue 106)

***

Three separate, and seemingly disparate, characters – a teenage girl, a significantly older American insomniac who runs a chatroom for the similarly afflicted, and a former stewardess struggling to cope with her newborn daughter on her own – all speak about their difficulties in trying to sleep. The causes are all different; some born of addiction – to drugs or simply the disruptive blue light emanating from their phones – while the worries caused by the difficulties of caring for a newborn may strike a more familiar chord.

The narrative is initially fractured – a kaleidoscope of fatigue – but it doesn’t take very long before the three women’s stories begin to coalesce into one larger story; a tragedy. Performing her own, remarkably strong script, Colmans is excellent and handles the transitions of voice and character and accent exceptionally

smoothly.

It’s a deft achievement – not least because of the momentary distractions endemic to many free Fringe venues – to which she seems oblivious. It’s rare to see such a confident debut solo show from a young actor but, in this case, that confidence is merited.

Until 27 August. Today 6:45pm.