Edinburgh Festival '97: THEATRE: Mad

Edinburgh Festival: Fringe
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The Independent Culture
THEATRE Mad At the 1992 Fringe, the Grassmarket Project premiered Mad, which, following Glad and Bad, concluded director Jeremy Weller's trilogy on contemporary social ills with an uncompromising account of seven women's real-life experiences of mental illness. In his latest production, however, Weller has allowed actors to take up these original tales and embellish them with their own experience of their characters' specific mental trauma.

Mad's subtly ambiguous construction raises it above hand-wringing worthiness. The play is notionally set at its own casting session, but as the variously damaged hopefuls confront the causes and effects of everything from incest to war crimes, all begin to doubt the director's intentions. What emerges is an electrifying piece of theatre.

The Famous Grouse House, venue 34, to Aug 30 (not 18, 26). 2pm. Mike Higgins

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