Sunday, 20 March 2011

Just Checking

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
Falling in love is a disease that can strike at any time, turning one’s
world upside down and provoking all manner of irrational behaviour,
sheer terror included. In Karen McLachlan’s tragic-comic solo vehicle
for actress Blythe Duff, such an unexpected emotional whirlwind is
equated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a disease equally
all-consuming and just as common. Duff plays Izzy Grant, a high-flying
career woman who’s just met the man of her dreams and looks set for the
perfect wedding with the perfect cake and an even more perfect seating
plan at the reception. If only, as Izzy finds herself overwhelmed and
inveigled upon by all her worst fears she’s thus far protected herself
from via series of seemingly harmless rituals; “the glue that holds me
together,” as she puts it.

As Izzy addresses the audience directly in the spick-and-span kitchen
of her pristine white des-res, illustrating her anxieties with a series
of heightened physical tics, the oversize white cardigan she wraps
herself in gradually comes to resemble a strait-jacket in Liz
Carruthers’ deftly directed production for Duff’s new Datum Point
company. If a tad overlong in its current guise, McLachlan’s script
possesses just the right balance of light and shade to lend a broad
commercial appeal to what in other hands might have ended up more
obviously angst-ridden.

For those who only know Duff from TV cop show Taggart, here she is a
revelation, holding the stage with a confident mix of self-deprecating
swagger and frightened vulnerability for the play’s full eighty
minutes. As Izzy finally accepts that nothing’s perfect, anyone who
ever got cold feet might learn from her catharsis.

The Herald, February 8th 2010

ends

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