Great title, rubbish play.

I was about to launch into a diatribe against this piece – a sketchy, tentative overlong rummage around the physical and mental attic of the solo character Faith’s brain as she retreats from her murdered mother’s funeral to debate her mental state with the voices in her head. It sounds far-fetched, the voices aren’t well differentiated and it feels rather like an extended audition for accents and characterisations, but not good ones.

But journalistic ‘research’ sometimes leads you up a strange path and I came across the blog and website of the uncredited author and performer, Celia Peachey.

Turns out the whole thing is true: her mother was indeed murdered – strangled with a dog-lead by her former lover who has himself a previously convicted killer, and her body hidden in a toilet. Peachey is going through an angry and uncomfortable postrationalisation in a shroud of psychobabble about ‘the universe’ as well as battling alleged maladministration in the Essex Police, and her own recent grief.

So the faults are really in the marketing – if this weren’t scheduled as a comedy (it isn’t) but as a theatre piece, and if preferably the character(s) were played by someone other than Peachey herself, it might fare much better as a well-informed drama about bereavement, mental imbalance and shock. Maybe bring it back to Edinburgh next year in a fresh treatment, and populate it with more of the living/deceased characters?

Meanwhile, I’d suggest a pre-performance voice-over to identify that this is a true story, as experienced by the actress because that’s not apparent from the performance.

The Public ReviewsOriginally published on The Public Reviews.