Scour (3 stars)

This article is from 2015


An ordinary but insightful portrait of life with HIV

Peacetime Productions' Scour opens with the first step in an ordinary daily routine. Twentysomething Aidan steps out of the shower, pulls on some casual clothes and sits centre-stage to address the audience. But as he begins his monologue, it quickly transpires that Aidan's life is far from ordinary. Inspired by writer Rebecca Monks' own health scare, Scour is a thoughtful, if unremarkable, portrait of life with HIV.

After an ill-fated sexual liaison with a stranger, Aidan and his girlfriend, Grace, notice the first signs of the disease when Grace falls ill during a holiday. After a trip to the hospital and the longest two weeks of their lives, their worst fears are confirmed.

The script successfully captures two contrasting reactions to the disease. Driven apart by their diagnoses, Aidan isolates himself in Skye for fear of spreading the infection, while Grace, to her ex-boyfriend's frustration, returns to university in Edinburgh and continues as normal.

Taking the form of a solo monologue delivered by Joshua Considine as Aidan, Scour gives a distinctly personal account of the condition and the production successfully captures the acute anxiety that bubbles beneath Aidan's cheerful stoicism. In his obsessive hand-washing, surface-wiping, and regimental swallowing of pills to fight the infection to fight anxiety, the play depicts a battle that is as much mental as it is physical.

While the plot is somewhat flat and ends in a muted and unsatisfying climax, the show remains interesting piece of theatre. Focusing on the condition's emotional, rather than physical, symptoms, Scour is an intimate and insightful look into the lived experience of HIV.

Clouds & Soil, 629 2728, until 29 Aug, 2.15pm, free.


  • 3 stars

When a young man discovers he is HIV positive, he flees to a remote island, shutting himself away. But is he preserving life, or wasting it?