Ane City (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Ane City

Engaging and empathetic study of home and belonging

Tay returns home to Dundee from her first year at Glasgow University to find everything frustratingly similar and jarringly different. Her mother is a trial, her sister is indifferent, and her friends seem to have largely moved on. Related through a mix of lively storytelling, Celtic music, and Scots poetry, Ane City is a witty, honest confessional of the difficulties of growing up.

One-person shows are notoriously difficult to pull off, but protagonist Taylor Dyson gives a solid performance: alternating seamlessly between voices, dialects, and moods, Dyson lends Tay a sharpness and vivacity that makes her all-too-familiar experiences all the more relatable. This is a play that is caught between place and liminality: undeniably drawing on the geography and literature of Dundee, there is nevertheless a constant sense of rootlessness as Tay struggles to figure out her identity, both as a working-class, female poet and a newly formed adult.

In an era of extraordinary female coming-of-twenties stories, Ane City does not say anything very new, and the warmth and momentum that carries the play through becomes somewhat unravelled in an inwardly polemic denouement. Overall, however, Ane City is an engaging and empathetic consideration of the fluidity of home and belonging. Both love letter and hate mail to the city that spawned it, Ane City offers an authentic reflection of contemporary Scotland.

Assembly Roxy, until 26 Aug, 2.20pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).

Ane City

  • 3 stars

Elfie Picket and Assembly present Tay has returned to her hometown of Dundee for a summer of relaxation, drinking and self-discovery. But first, she has to get through a night out with her friends, hitting the streets of Dundee. From tacky pubs with seedy bouncers to revelations on the McManus steps with Rabbie Burns, Tay…