God is in My Typewriter (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

God is in My Typewriter

Anguished bio drama based on Anne Sexton falls in to trap of cliched acting at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It was almost inevitable that, in choosing to give over a theatre space to a series of monodramas, Hill Street Theatre would find itself programming at least a couple of bio plays about terribly troubled lives. God is in My Typewriter, in which Anna-Mari Laulumaa, from Finland, performs and directs her own work about the life of the anguished American poet Anne Sexton could almost be a companion piece to the Romanian play, Zelda – The Last Flapper, which is being presented in the same space.

Laulumaa's offering is, simultaneously, stronger and weaker than the Romanian production. Its strength comes in its subject. Sexton is simply a more interesting figure than Fitzgerald, and Laulumaa's script, which combines impressionistic sketches with intriguing biographical shortcuts, has real craft.

The Finn's piece is weaker, however, in its performance. The actor's decision to play the poet as a child leads to some horrible, clichéd acting. The representation of Sexton's husband and children by way of a soft toy dog and two dolls is buttock-clenchingly embarrassing. The poet deserves better.

Hill Street Solo Theatre, 0131 226 6522, until 24 Aug (not 12), £10 (£8)

God Is in My Typewriter

  • 3 stars

Anna-Mari Laulumaa Striking one-woman show about the brilliant, tumultuous life of Pulitzer winning American poet Anne Sexton, blending verse, letters, and therapy session tapes with Butoh and humour to explore the relationship between women, creativity and madness. ‘Your performance is stirring. I think you get to the…