FringeReview Scotland 2016
Gudrun has arrived onstage in order to take us on her wedding. She does not tell us that we are about to embark on this wedding but it soon becomes clear that she has this in mind when she disappears for the beginning and returns with the wow in her dress. From there we are taken on a flight with Gudrun which covers such topics as the use of exercise bikes in your parent’s bedroom to random people in the audience nearly telling earth shattering news before she decides she doesn’t have time for this nonsense before she waits out the hour to rapturous applause.
From the very beginning we are faced with a highly accomplished and well rehearsed performer who understands the timing required and the presence needed to keep us onside. There are a number of wonderful set pieces from the opening to the Icelandic folk song we all sing as well as how to introduce yourself to an audience that already pretty much knows you. I was one of the few who did not know Gudrun and I shall make a point now of keeping an eye open for her in the future.
The skill displayed by such a young performer was tremendous. She understood how theatre worked and used deceit and absurdity in equal measure. We were taken in by the grand piano, even though it added very little to the entire piece whilst we loved the tears shed being kept in a cup or the iceberg in a kitchen bowl being thrown over her, this was hilarious.
There was little by way of set and the music acted by way of comic interlude. I have to admit to having played THAT Bill Withers track a few times after the show. The star of the entire episode was Gudrun herself. This was a very accomplished piece of stage craft and demonstrated how to hold a pause, create a moment and keep people engaged and entertained. It might be argued that, with so many in the audience part of the same Drama School she had an easy crowd but this was a performance where the stupidities of life were exposed, taking the audience with you along the way. It would have worked anywhere in the theatrical world.
It was in the measure of the material that there was real skill. There were hints and nods where others might have wanted to bludgeon understanding. It meant that we got an hour of material which, whilst it was not crude was very adult. The use of a multiplicity of theatrical tricks like audience participation, using people to read out text messages, singalongs and comic events meant we had the right balance between what we saw and how we saw it. Gudrun Soley Sigurdardottir, should she continue to perform at this level and with this quality of material is a name we shall have to get used to pronouncing, spelling and saying out loud.