Wednesday, 19 August 2009


19/8/09, Bedlam (Edinburgh Fringe)

Three-hander by Ella Hickson, who is young and promising and has won awards, about an ageing man with demtnia, his young American carer and his rather spoilt and up herself daughter. Set in New York.

Began brilliantly with the contrasting accounts of the boy and the daughter about their first meeting, and a teasing lack of clarity about just what was going on. Ended a little galumphingly, almost as if she'd realised she was running out of her allotted hour and needed to wrap things up, with a soliloquy from the old man (explaining why he didn't want his daughter to know what he was suffering from) and a little later a soliloquy from the daughter describing a visit to Washington for Obama's inauguration. All a little too literal, and the piece would benefit from expanding to two hours with time to develop these ideas a little more subtly.

Lots of good lines, wittily if sometimes predictable contrasting the jaded British and "yes we can" American approaches to life. Well-acted. Ambitious staging for a small venue: a set on a revolve, the old man's living room on one side, the rooftop on the other. But the significance of the title escapes me.

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