DramaReviewScotland

A Perfectly Average Glimpse Into A Perfectly Average Day – Edinburgh Fringe 2023, ZOO Playground

Reviewer: Grace Spencer

Writer: Millie Haldane

Director: Millie Haldane

With A Perfectly Average Glimpse Into A Perfectly Average Day, writer Millie Haldane presents five blisteringly revealing monologues which satisfy all her audience’s voyeuristic hankerings. Written in collaboration with her actors, the piece is a refreshing and authentic theatrical project which celebrates the wells of meaning within ‘ordinariness’.

We kick off with a twisted wedding speech from a man bent on simultaneously winning his father’s approval and exposing his cruelty, which Sam Klein plays for pathos with a well-observed brand of defensive hyper-masculinity. Next is a woman struggling to come to terms with her stagnated life after a stunted sporting career, delivered brilliantly by Margot Pue.

As the monologues progress, we understand that the thread connecting Haldane’s characters is a desperation to be heard – “listen to my speech!”, cries Klein’s best man – and our empathy for them on this fundamental level means that their stories are enthralling. We hear from a chronically insecure actor, charmingly acted by Dylan Swain, and a lonely young man whose search for connection ends in disaster, portrayed with impressive candour by Marcus Judd. Last is a searing performance from Natalie Westgor as a young woman afloat in the UK after leaving behind her American Baptist family.

Though the show maintains tension throughout, its tone is sometimes uneven; the stakes are higher in some episodes than others, and one improbable moment is quietly hilarious but feels out of place. However, Haldane has directed her talented cast very creatively, and her writing captures both the idiosyncrasies of her characters’ lives and the wider issues which they point towards, including the realities of motherhood, addiction, and social mobility. Audience interaction makes the show an immersive experience, and its invitation for us to consider how we would fill ten minutes of confession is effective and unsettling.

Runs until 27 August 2023 | Image: Contributed

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Refreshing and authentic

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