7 August 2006
My Name is Rachel Corrie
Jim Field Smith, the very same one who shone last night with the rest of Dutch Elm Conservatoire, said to me after this show "Why would you bring a show from London's West End to Edinburgh?". Anyone who wants to see it will have seen it so there can only be one reason - money. Sadly this looks to be true. The play is an hour and a half monologue for which, we are told in advance, there is a strict no re-admittance policy. Ten minutes in and *all* of the half full audience is wondering what the hell that continual banging is (it was weightlifters in the gym). There was an incredible amount of noise outside the Assembly Rooms when we saw True West but we were not disturbed as the great acting by Phil Nichol and Tom Stade, especially the fear he instills, dragged us into their private world which nothing could distract us from. As you've probably already guessed, this play does not have great acting from the leading lady. In fact, it's quite atrocious acting. Yes, it was that bad and if Josephine Taylor wants to pull me up on that comment then I'm quite happy to do what Leonard Rossiter did and show here how it's done! [I'm not really comparing myself the great Mr Rossiter but my front door has less wood than Ms Taylor] Incidentally this was not the same actress who originally played in London and who the reviews on the poster are about (with a one-woman show then how can they use those reviews?), that actress was Megan Dodds. I did mention earlier that this is a 90 minute monologue so when your leading lady can't act (well, deliver lines is really what she is trying to do), then there is not much hope for the show. The real Rachel Corrie's diaries may make an interesting book but the spoken word version just doesn't work. If it can't suck you in even remotely after a third of the performance then it doesn't have much chance later on. And so, 30 minutes in, as everyone is looking around and not at the actress, we collect our things and walk out knowing that we have avoided losing another hour of our lives. Two stars out of five and that's just because a girl died in real life.