My Elevator Days (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

My Elevator Days

Gentle play about old age and identity never loses sight of harsh reality

What do we leave behind in an ever-changing world? The old man in front of us will never get the 19 million Google results of Grace Kelly, with whom he shares a birthday, nor the blue plaque of the artist that goaded him as a child. Given his borderline hermitude, can he even hope to linger in someone’s memory?

Following his dog’s death, he’s left with only an elevator for company. ENOK, he calls it, the maker’s name as seen in its mirrors. It’s a symbol of technology, in a world that gets ahead of him, but also of permanency and temptation, a forbidden treat when doctor’s orders dictate that he should use the stairs. ‘That elevator is your worst enemy,’ he recalls.

Gentle and sage, Bengt Ahlfors’ play rambles around, forgetting the elevator for other topics. As such, it struggles to really satisfy, fraying towards the end, but it’s a pleasurable and soothing diversion that never loses sight of harsh reality for cutesy smaltz. Alexander West, whose voice is all thistle and heather, makes a charming guide.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 12.30pm, £9--£10 (£8--£9).

My Elevator Days

  • 3 stars

Elderly gentleman seeks companion. For conversation, only. Previous confidants include - his mother, Kafka (a dog), Grace Kelly (the beloved and greatly missed), Enok (an elevator), and Diana (a strictly hands-off sex worker turned would be dog walker). Hobbies: gate-crashing funerals and weddings. Says - 'I'm not afraid…