Review: Solo and slight
HAUNTED TRAVERSE THEATRE EDINBURGH
Wednesday 30 June 1999
In this instance it's not even as if those involved can claim inexperience in their defence - this is the eighth joint project from writer Rona Munro and actor Fiona Knowles, whose MsFits company predates Munro's recent award-winning, Bafta-nominated success. She's on record as ranking their series of bittersweet, small-scale comedies among her best work, and some have indeed garnered their own share of critical and popular praise, but this tale of a middle-aged woman confronting the spectres of her past - hardly the most promising premise to start with, let's face it - is unlikely, on present showing, to join them.
Our protagonist, Kate, is inspecting the flat she sold 15 years ago, with a view to buying it again. Her reminiscences of the younger self who lived there, between the Sixties and the Eighties, focus primarily on her chalk'n'cheese relationship with Annie, an old school pal who moved in after Kate's feckless, wannabe-Bohemian husband moved out. Annie, however, also died in the flat, and her presence soon starts to seem more palpable than mere memory.
Munro attempts to answer the problem of generating sufficient dramatic fabric by having Knowles double as both women. Whether Annie's periodic appearances are your actual ghostly visitations, dramatic flashbacks, or a product of the gin and pills Kate keeps knocking back (she's been under a lot of stress) remains a moot point, but between them these explanations are supposed to cover the fact that Kate keeps talking to herself, or to her absent friend.
They don't, of course, in a narrative overburdened with rhetorical questions and digressions. Both characters are under-developed to the point that the larger theme - the changes and constants in women's lives over the past 30-odd years - barely takes shape. There's the odd glimpse of Munro's characteristically penetrating psychological or feminist insight, but Haunted's basic structural weakness far outweighs its scant compensations.
Touring to Jan, (0131-447 1197)
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove