Simon Callow in Tuesday at Tescos (4 stars)

This article is from 2011.

Simon Callow in Tuesday at Tescos

Transgender monologue that’s dressed to kill

Anything performed by Simon Callow comes with a certain guarantee: that you’ll be entertained, impressed by the Shakespearean actor’s masterly skill, and perhaps moved to laughter and/or tears. Almost all of which Tuesday at Tescos achieves.

Emmanuel Darley’s French play started life as Le Mardi à Monoprix and has now been relocated to a London suburb. The play centres on Pauline, formerly Paul, a transvestite who spends every Tuesday looking after her ungrateful and disapproving widowed father.

Callow cuts quite a dash in blonde wig, skirt and heels, sharing the stage with a pianist who inexplicably plays the occasional note and jots down musical thoughts on sheet music. Switching back and forth between the voices of Pauline and her gruffly spoken father, Callow takes us into the transvestite world. The questioning looks, the heartbreaking disregard she faces daily and Pauline’s desire to be seen, and loved, for who she is.

Less moving than we might expect from the subject matter, but certainly entertaining, Darley’s dénouement comes from nowhere with an unexpected punch.

Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 29 Aug (not 15, 22), 2pm, £17.50–£20 (£15–£18).

Simon Callow in Tuesday at Tescos

  • 4 stars

In a unique Edinburgh event, one of Britain’s greatest actors, Simon Callow stars as Pauline. Loving daughter, carer and transvestite. This is the English language premier of the French sensation Le Mardi Monoprix. Commissioned for Assembly, this is a touching, beautiful, Moliere nominated new play about love and death…

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