reviews: Big Blonde

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The Independent Culture
The tragedy of the good-time girl gone to seed comes under scrutiny in Shirley Anderson's brilliant adaptation of a Dorothy Parker short story, which returns to Edinburgh after being a minor hitette last year. The perennially peroxided Hazel Morse is every guy's dream date, her scarlet pout breaking into snorts of unquestioning laughter at any opportunity. But when she hits the bottle - and boy does she hit it - the guys either leave town or get married. Suicide is never a serious option, so she clings to the only real constant companion she has left.

Parker's writing brutally cuts through the laughter, twisting the knife in the process, and Anderson brings Hazel to life with a beautifully observed portrayal which makes Hazel's gradual disintegration heartbreaking to watch. See this woman now and it's guaranteed you'll never be able to read Dorothy Parker again without picturing Shirley Anderson as the bitter- sweet lead in every tale.

n Hill Street Theatre (venue 41). To 28 Aug (not tomorrow, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27)