Writer: Richard Gadd
Director: Jon Brittain
Reviewer: Gareth Davies
The Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd offers a cautionary tale for the modern age, of the perils of offering tea and pity to a total stranger.
‘I’ve got to go’, she says, every time she comes to the bar where Gadd works, before lingering for the full length of his shift. To say more about the ways (and depths) to which she insinuates herself into his life would be to spoil some of the genuinely gasp-inducing twists of Gadd’s Fatal Attraction-style story, all the more shocking and unsettling for being far from fiction.
Gadd relates with total candour the effects, consequences and impact of being the subject of this woman’s obsession, baring his soul and psyche as he takes us into the labyrinthine experience of being stalked. The words spill from him in torrents and bursts, with rare moments of levity to lift the darkness, but the piece is near perfectly paced, with Jon Brittain’s direction balancing the thump and stomp of Gadd’s explosive text with moments of calm and stillness.
With just a bar stool and a few carefully integrated projections to bring a visual element to the story, our focus is fully on the storyteller. Staged in the round, Gadd often finds himself spinning atop a central platform, reflecting elegantly something of the dizzying instability of the relationships he has with not just his stalker but others in his life.
From meditations on his experiences with the police to his confusion over his responsibility for inviting the attention he receives, and from balancing his fears for his wider family to his recognition of the mental illness that underpins the whole experience, Gadd creates an all-encompassing narrative that grips and chills to the very last.
Runs until 25 August 2019 (not 13 or 20) | Image: Contributed