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Edinbugh Festival Fringe 2012 - Theatre Reviews 10


The Shit – Summerhall
4 stars
A naked woman squats astride a platform holding in to a microphone and 
precious little else in Cristian Ceresoli's solo play, performed in an 
unflinching, no-holds-barred howl of rage by Silvia Gallerano. Whether 
live art prop or practical aids to counteract the room’s boomy 
acoustics isn’t clear, but it certainly helps Gallerano spew out 
Ceresoli's litany of self-loathing to pin you to your seat.

As Gallerano's mouth moves in rapid-fire shapes akin to some blood and 
lipstick smeared form of origami, nothing is hidden, not the narrator's 
bulimia, nor her messed-up relationships with her father, nor her chase 
after fame. Subtitled The Disgust Decalogue Number 1, this is a 
relentlessly confrontational piece of work that tumbles from 
Gallerano's gut as if ripping the skin from her very being. By turns 
shrill, even as she laughs at herself, Gallerano delivers an exhausting 
but utterly compelling verbal symphony that never flinches from the 
perceived ugliness of her character's lot. Somewhat perversely, the 
compelling honesty of what follows is irresistible. Until August 26th.

Juana in a Million – Pleasance Dome
3 stars
Illegal immigrants in the UK feed a black economy that leaves them 
vulnerable to exploitation  at every level. So it goes with the 
wide-eyed heroine of Vicky Araico Casas and Nir Paldi's play about a 
young Mexican woman who makes her way to London, where the streets are 
most definitely not paved with gold. Juana ends up working in a 
restaurant, is mercilessly ripped off by people she thought she could 
trust, and is left vulnerable to abuse or worse.
Performed by Araico Casas herself with an unabashed verve, Paldi's 
production highlights a hidden landscape where money talks, which we're 
all to prepared to turn a blind eye to in the hotels and restaurants 
that make a killing on the backs of those on the run. Despite the 
ill-advised jokiness of the title, this is a thoroughly serious work, 
which, punctuated by Adam Pleeth's live score, gives a rare insight 
into one of the less sung ills of broken Britain. Until August 26th.

Conversations With Love – Whitespace
3 stars
Five young women in dance studio vests throw some very gentle shapes to 
some mainstream R n B. As each begins to talk in rhyming couplets, an 
everyday narrative of lover's first flush to its eventual loss is told 
in a simple out-front manner. Written, directed and choreographed by 
Ann Akins, who also performs, there's guileless street-smart honesty to 
Akins' concoction of  estuarised spoken-word punctuated by pop video 
choreography.

If there are times during the show's bite-size forty minutes when it 
feels like an end of term exercise, that's okay in what is essentially 
a mainstream showcase that taps into love's young dream with an 
engagingly unpretentious charm. There are times too when Akins and her 
troupe look not unlike a girl-band in waiting. Which, on this showing, 
might not be a bad thing for a quintet who show considerable flair and 
promise. Until Aug 23rd.

The Herald, August 22nd 2012

ends

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