The Struggling Life of an Artist – C Aquila, Edinburgh

Writer: Xiomara Meyer

Director: Tamalynne Grant

Reviewer: Tom Ralphs

In a set up that probably applies to most of the performers on the Fringe this year, two struggling artists live together in a flat, confronted by mounting bills and the feeling that they can’t rely on their parent’s generosity forever. The twist is that both of them are given the opportunity to do something about it. The next twist, which may be less unusual for the average struggling artist, is that the opportunities go against their artistic integrity and they have to decide whether to hold fast to their principles or compromise for cash.

Xiomara Meyer’s script neatly sets up the premise for the play in opening scenes where Olivia, played by Meyer, and Jessica, played by director Tamalynne Grant, confront an editor and a casting director. Olivia, a horror fiction writer, is told that she needs to choose a name that will make readers think she is a man if she wants her writing to be taken seriously. Jessica, an actor, is told that she really has to lose her attitude and remember that it’s her body not her acting ability that’s likely to appeal to movie goers.

Meyer nails the gap between artists expectations and the attitudes of the bosses in the industries they’re working in superbly, highlighting how talent and training become secondary factors and how ridiculous it is.

The songs and choreography that accompany the script add to the mood, ranging from glee club style ironic satire, through plaintive despair and on to confronting directors by playing out what they want female actors to be.

Their final decisions on taking the opportunity or not may not come as any great surprise, but the play is more about the journey than the final destination and Meyer and Grant are both extremely talented emerging artists, satirising and fighting against the world that they and other artists are entering into.

Runs until 26 August 2019 (not 13th or 20th) | Image: Contributed

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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