Sophia

REVIEWS
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The Independent Culture
Southside (venue 82), 117 Nicholson St (0131-667 7365), 8pm; to 2 Sept

"I am Sophia Wonderwoman, Sophia Every Woman; well, I'm a woman anyway," states the eponymous star of Arvind Manocha's one-woman play. Standing facing the audience, Sophia describes her family, friends and feminist beliefs. Is this theatre or confessional stand-up? Manocha's self-reflexive script skilfully blurs the line between drama and reality to create an utterly convincing character. So real is her "scriptless" monologue that a member of the audience begins to question Sophia, until the actress silences her with, "This is a show, not a talk shop." As Sophia's sexual history is laid out, the disconcerting naturalism of the piece provokes an uneasy feeling of voyeurism. Embedded in such apparently random autobiography, the play's denouement is well prepared and effective. Humorous and credible, this portrait of a young woman is all the more remarkable coming from a male playwright.

Liese Spencer

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