Amy, Fate and Me
Redemption on the open road
This article is from 2010.
From Sausage and Samosa to Busting Out!, there's a lot on at this year's Fringe about the older woman: her life, loves, body and desires. Benchpresser-cum-actress/comedian Sandra Risser, who readily describes herself as 'older than ENIAC', provides a powerful and personal take on the theme in this solo performance.
We meet Sandy, Risser's protagonist, on the highway from Texas to Kansas City. Driving through Oklahoma's flat, brown expanse, she's looking for a new home, job, reason for being - anything to escape the string of no-good men who have, in one way or another, ruined her life. Incessantly thinking back to times of pain and heartache, she's suddenly gripped by an urge to stop off in a remote, non-descript town, even though she needs to reach her destination before nightfall. The decision to act on impulse leads to an encounter that will change her life for good.
There's a deeply satisfying, short story-like intensity about Risser's show as it pulls the audience into its tragicomic tale of desperation, intuition and redemption. The resolution is something of a damp squib, but the intertwining narratives leading up to it – about drugs, drink, lies and disappointment (and the experience of being involved with a man who was a suspect in the murder of his own family) – certainly aren't.
Key to the show's overall success is Risser's burnt-out voice and heartfelt, defiant delivery. This is an actress who knows and feels her material inside-out, and we're with her every step of the way.
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 0131 667 7533, until 29 August, 4.15pm, free