It's Not a Sprint
- Sean Greenhorn
- 10 August 2018
Marathon show misses opportunities
Grace Chapman presents a one-woman show about Maddy, a 30-year-old who decides to run a marathon, and the life decisions she must come to terms with over those 26.2 gruelling miles.
Chapman is alone onstage in running gear with a helium balloon tied to her waist, bobbing up and down as she mimics the effort of running a marathon. Maddy is accompanied on her journey by a disembodied voice with whom she verbally spars, the physicality of running and talking adding extra desperation to her reflections on her life. Chapman has an affable stage presence, and the down-to-earth nature of the story allows her to probe into darker territory when it comes to the Maddy's mother's health and her genetic clock.
However, the unique framing of the marathon run is not used to full advantage: save for Chapman's constant movement it is barely explored. Little is done with sound design, and the focus on numbers – 30 years old and 26.2 miles – becomes confusing rather than powerful at certain points. The piece is saved through Chapman's charisma rather than the uniqueness of the narrative framework, something that seems a missed opportunity.
Pleasance Dome, until 26 Aug (not 14, 21), 1.30pm, £10–£11 (£8.50–£10).