Hand Over Fist (4 stars)

This article is from 2012

Hand Over Fist - have emailed to ask for image

Steve Ullathorne

Beautifully textured monologue about lost love and Alzheimer’s

Joanna Bending is devastatingly effective as Emily, an eerily child-like pensioner struggling to recount the events of her past as her memory of it slips away from her.

In this one-woman show, Emily tells the story of a fateful night in the 1950s three times. The audience must pay close attention to connect up her intricate misremembering into a clear picture of what really happened, and why it was so fateful.

Where other memory dramas might be structured from complicated overlapping plotlines, writer Dave Florez focuses on developing a visceral and rounded character. The effect is stunning, a simple story transformed into a painfully vivid experience.

Emily's cheeky commentary as she considers the action, and her shouted revelations as each reiteration of the story comes to its denouement are equally engrossing. The transcendent fisting scene feels like an emotional high point, only to be excelled by the guessable but no less moving revelations at the end of the play.

Details of this beautifully textured play continue to click into place long after the show has ended; this show invites re-watching.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 1.55pm, £10--£11 (£9--£10).

Hand Over Fist

  • 4 stars

Hannah Eidinow directs Dave Florez's dark, redemptive monologue about lost love and Alzheimer's. Praise for the prequel, Fringe First 2011 winner Somewhere Beneath: Critic's Choice (List), 'Hard- hitting drama burns bright' ★★★★ (Metro), 'Engaging, unpredictable' ★★★★ (Fest). Ages 14+. Festival Highlights and the…