Thursday, 20 October 2016

Where The Crow Flies

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Three stars

The baby won't stop crying and scary men are shouting obscenities through the letterbox at the opening of Lisa Nicoll's curiously creepy new play produced by the Glasgow-based In Motion Theatre Company. Graffiti is sprayed across the walls of Carrie's house, and rubbish is rotting in the summer heat in the back garden. Just to add insult to injury, Emily has moved in next door, and is already invading Carrie's space enough to make her paranoid.

The cause of Carrie's siege mentality is her husband's imprisonment for a crime he says he didn't commit, and the bad lads left on the outside who say he did. Emily may not be in league with them, but she has a few secrets of her own, largely to do with her absent daughter Annabel.

Beth Morton's production begins with a kitchen-sink style set-up that looks at two very different women living alone with their pain, then lurches into psycho-thriller territory before Carrie and Emily come out the other side seemingly unscathed. This makes for an oddly overloaded seventy minutes that at times resembles an unholy alliance between Mike Leigh and Ken Loach if they'd worked on Tales of the Unexpected.

Keira Lucchesi and Angela Darcy invest an edgy humour into their respective portrayals of Carrie and Emily in a show that tours Scotland this month as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Commissioned by the Scottish Government backed Sense over Sectarianism initiative and developed with women from Blackburn in West Lothian, Morton's production shows off the bonds that form between this oddest of couples as they learn how to survive together.

The Herald, October 20 2016

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