Monday, 17 August 2009


16/8/09, Assembly (Edinburgh Fringe)

1hr 10 mins. One-woman show by Becci Gemmell, written by Penelope Skinner. A woman's progress from 17-year old virgin to whore (well, lap-dancer) in half a dozen scenes, performed in reverse order (projections on the back wall filled you in between scenes). Witty, beautifully-observed, excellent performance. The men are always hopeless, our heroine's capacity for self-delusion seemingly infinite, whether she's a schoolgirl desperate to lose her virginity, a neurotic student hooked on tranquillisers who's taken a vow of eternal celibacy, or a secretary finding true love in a nightclub on holiday. Next to no props: a bed, some books, a shapeless fleece. Really they were lots of different women, and on reflection linking them by suggesting they were just different stages of the same woman's rake's progress didn't really work; but at the time we didn't mind. We left satisfied.

Yesterday's offerings were distinctly disappointing and by mid-afternoon (after Optimism) we were deeply pessimistic. But tonight things looked up no end. Glad we came.

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