Writer: Rosie MacPherson
Director: Ed Lilly
Reviewer: Sophie Thompson
“Not every escape is a way out.” Inside is the heart-breaking story, inspired by true events, of a kidnap victim, trapped in a basement, and the effects of Stockholm Syndrome. Audiences were most probably expecting a grim and desperate tale of the human will to survive, what they weren’t expecting was one of the most intelligent pieces of theatre to premiere in years.
Written and performed by the acting tour de force Rosie MacPherson, the execution, even down to the superb set design and sound, was perfect. MacPherson’s physicality, coupled with the amazing writing, made for a very “real” theatre experience. Although gruelling, her performance was incredibly captivating; MacPherson is a rising star, definitely one to watch.
It is obvious that the theatre company, Strawberry Blonde Curls, did a huge amount of research into the subject, drawing on high profile cases such as Fritzl and Jaycee Lee Dugard. It would have been very easy for the company to focus on a single person’s account of this unique human experience, but by drawing on the research MacPherson was able to create a character that not only embodied all kidnap victim’s but became the very personification of kidnap itself.
With hindsight, it is apparent that the play had a very clear narrative, the steady stream of information given regarding the victim’s situation kept the audience hooked throughout, yet never completely satiated one’s appetite, allowing for individual interpretations. It is hard to believe that this is Ed Lilly’s theatre directorial debut, his previous successes in film have made for a polished end product.
Particularly relevant with mass media coverage of cases such as the recent Cleveland kidnap victims, the show is thought provoking, insightful and emotive. Currently previewing in its run up to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Inside is a show not to be missed.