How To Be a Modern Marvel (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

How To Be a Modern Marvel

credit: Didier Goudal

A vintage Tupperware party

There’s something rather charming about How To Be a Modern Marvel. On the surface, the audience are treated to a sales pitch that seems to have escaped from a 1960s’ time capsule, complete with three beautifully mannered, idealised women. Things aren’t quite as they appear with status turmoil between the three women, who begin to come across more like sisters of The Stepford Wives.

If the play lacks plot, all three women are a pleasure to spend time with. Technically, the audience are watching a 45-minute live advert for imaginary ‘Marvel’ products, while the aspects of the women’s true character only emerge in occasional fragments. But their beautiful outfits and overly sincere manners take the audience back into a nostalgic mist that only slowly evaporates with slight discussions about the conflict between the old and the new.

Maybe the production would have benefited with a sharper script that explores women’s place in a political and working society after WWII, especially in the light of feminism’s advances in the subsequent decades. However, what’s on show is a pleasant enough experience with three delightful performances.

Institut francais d’Ecosse, 225 5366, until Aug 26 (not 12, 19), 4.30pm, £10 (£8)

How to be a Modern Marvel®

  • 3 stars

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