Theatre review: Strangeways
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Strangeways, at theSpace on North Bridge (Venue 36), review by Susan Mansfield
As incessant rain pours down outside, Dot Weatherby unpacks her belongings in her new flat, Tiptoes the cat her only companion. But soon she has another: her husband Vinnie. Only Vinnie died a long time ago. It’s no wonder that chirpy Sam from social work thinks something is badly wrong.
Over the course of Joshua Val Martin’s dark little play, we are drip-fed more information about Dot and Vinnie, how they fell in love, and what happened later. Then there’s Dot’s best friend Margot, and what happened on the day of the Queen’s visit. The plot tends towards melodrama but the gradual reveal keeps the audience reeled in.
As do the performances, from this young company of students and recent graduates from Manchester University. Ellie Scanlan is superb as Dot, a lonely old woman driven to desperate measures, ably supported by Dan Tunstall (Vinnie) and Annabel Thomson (Sam).
Even if the plot is occasionally overwrought, at the heart of the play there is a convincing portrayal of old age and loneliness.
Originally appeared in The Scotsman