Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Lady M - Edinburgh Fringe review

Written by: Dombo (@DomOJFryer)

Where's Dom gone? 
C Venues (ECA), Edinburgh 
Was Dom fond? 

What would you do if Shakespeare only gave you one scene to express yourself? Lady M is the tale of Macbeth – only this time, from the perspective of a chambermaid. Annemarie de Bruijn, as the Chambermaid, carries the weight of the world on her shoulders as she discovers the death of the king at the hands of Macbeth; she also carries the plays unbounded energy and holds the attention of the audience - despite being in an auditorium which appears to be the hottest place on Earth.

There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe the captivating performance by de Bruijn, who seems tireless as she bounds around the stage taking us through the several rooms of Macbeth's castle. She is truly superb in this role, and needs to be, too; without this ability to hold the audience to her every word, the play would be lost. She holds together a stream of complicated events. As odd as this may sound, however, despite being a one woman play de Bruijn must surely thank her supporting acts; the technical aspects of this piece are enough to give a lighting and sound operator nightmares.

The set design was also marvellous; incredibly simple, but enabling the narrative of the piece to flow correctly. We know it is difficult to mention a piece of new writing without making reference to the writing itself, and de Bruijn, who also wrote the piece, has done a perfect job of capturing the indignation of the lead (and only) character. The one problem I can find with this set up is that it is questionable how far this ship would be able to go without its creator at the helm. It is impossible to imagine this character being played without such energy.

This thoroughly entertaining, high octane and humorous performance holds your attention from start to finish, with no time for a breather – which might actually be advisable; de Bruijn looks like she might keel come curtain. One thing is for certain after having watched this – one scene certainly was not enough.

This production has finished its run. 

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