Theatre review: Dust

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: If you want to see a consummate performance, check out Milly Thomas in her own solo show, giving us an out-of-body view of a young woman who has taken her life as an escape from a long-standing eating disorder.

Underbelly Cowgate (Venue 61)


Under the direction of Sara Joyce, she is utterly absorbing, taking us on a gallows-humour journey through the life she has left behind – the family, the best friend, the boyfriend and the lingering presence, just beneath the surface, of her mental illness.

But although she holds you on every word, showing a keen sense of vocal and physical movement, there’s something missing at the heart of her script.

It’s certainly a matter of taste whether you go along with her Phoebe Waller-Bridge-style ladette humour. Many lap it up; I find it cold and cynical. More at issue, though, is the tendency of the script to circle round the story’s most interesting aspect – her eating disorder – without swooping in to grapple with it more thoroughly.

Although she paints a vivid picture of a young woman’s domestic life, it is not an especially remarkable one, making the cause of death seem more of a plot device than a driving force.

Until 27 August. Tomorrow 4:40pm.