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Ludicrous MacKenzie

Little White Pig, Edinburgh
Four stars

Uh-oh, here comes trouble. Meet Louise MacKenzie, the glitter-eyed heroine of Mark McDonnell’s madcap life in a day of the sort of wannabe drama queen whose entire life is a workshop. There she goes again, shambling through her catalogue of everyday disasters all dressed up in dungarees, pashmina and an off-the-peg air of zeitgeist-happy wokeness. As played by a similarly sparky Rebekah Lumsden, such attitudes and accoutrements give her the air of an extra from Godspell who’s just been cast in a hipster remake of Georgy Girl.

Not that Louise would get such low-brow references, mind. She’s more into mask workshops and Strindberg, and is blissfully unaware of her nickname. She was christened Ludicrous, it would seem, by her infinitely more down to earth museum attendant mum Beth and her pal Al, played by Wendy Seager and Mori Christian as a couple of tough cookies with Friday on their minds. Given that Louise has just fallen over on a particularly sensitive area, locked herself in the lavvy of a late running train and lost her rucksack, she probably deserves it. Just don’t mention the nuns.

As the first show to grace the tiny basement space of Edinburgh New Town’s latest happening emporium, a larger than life comic strip style energy pulses McDonnell’s own production, an alliance between the Little Red Pig and McDonnell’s Son of Dave outfit. The scattershot array of potty-mouthed gags and word-play aplenty that drive things suggest a set of Viz characters brought to life.

Clocking in at just shy of 45 minutes, in this sense McDonnell’s DIY miniature feels like a pilot for a series of shorts that could follow our hapless but loveable seeker of truth on her further adventures en route to whatever sort of enlightenment she stumbles on next. And, rest assured, stumble she will. Poor Ludicrous. She may be knocked down ad nauseum, but she’ll be sure to get up again. Let’s hope so, anyway.

The Herald, January 5th 2020



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