Edinburgh Fringe 2021
Dealing with low self-esteem, the biscuit brigade and dishy Gary, our eponymous heroine, Kate, tries to negotiate through various encounters with men, the need to get herself from being a temp to a writer via a permanent job through recycling and the medical profession, amongst other things. Living with her brother, Sammy, she finds his presence a comfort and annoyance as she faces the possibility of having to deal with her own mortality. By the end we have a rounded view which has taken us over many of the bumps in life, with a variety of voiceovers as company, and guides but she still has hope, and that issue with self-esteem.
The structure of a solo show with voiceovers can be distracting, however the use of voiceovers does not cause too much of a distance between us and the narrative but there could be more male voices used as there are times, they sound awfully like the female ones. It causes some issues of buy in. The use of male voices with a harsher and more awkward tone would add to the tapestry. The performance, however, does hinge upon the solo performer and this is a great strength. We love Kate and her issues are very well used by her to show us insight into her.
The script has some great moments – baking bread balancing out the filth works well for me – the knitting scene is great, seducing Gary too and having the night out at the old fashioned cricket club underpins the entire storyline. The turn to the serious is very well managed though other sections need to bed in and have the audience response taken on board before their worth can be judged.
The direction is well done and with a performer who has clearly invested a huge amount of herself in this we are quickly onto a confident and well woven piece of theatre. When it does take its left turn, this takes most of us by surprise. But given the use of an unsympathetic receptionist and the genius of how to introduce stirrups which I am still sitting in a awe over, this is using theatricality at its best – to cerate an innovative effect that is highly … effective.
Technically, the stirrups aside – everything is functional and as it ought to be. The only time I do think there could be a better technical input, along with a better sense of direction, is the arrival of the post. Going off suggests an end rather than a continuation and this does interrupt the flow.
Overall, this may have a televisual pathway for its next step or two, but it works very well as a theatre piece. The next office party would be one I would be happy to accept an invite to!