- Clare McVay
- 27 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Hilarious and heartfelt look at insecurities
In a subterranean room, faced with an empty stage, the audience are greeted with an announcement that today's performance of The Merchant of Venice is delayed due to Ian McKellen taking a longer than usual bath. We're then met with 3 rogue characters that decide to make the most of an empty stage.
It's a hilarious and heartfelt performance. Lee has autism, Zara has CHARGE syndrome and Kirsty has Cerebral Palsy. All three of them have infectious energy and a determination not to let their insecurities hold them back. They decide to take over the stage and show the world their super-talented alter-egos. This production by The BareFace Collective uses simple costume, multimedia, and audience interaction to deliver a performance full of variety and surprises.
There's a silliness to some of the dialogue which detracts from the more moving moments; the actors' alter-egos are all larger than life, and the audience participation with them is a little stilted. Despite this, it comes over very clearly and convincingly why each character feels their normal self is inadequate in some way. They reveal what they feel are their biggest shortfalls, as they struggle to suppress their self-doubt and inner-critics. It's a very relatable, honest, and ultimately uplifting performance.
Underbelly Cowgate, run ended.