A Remarkable Person

Per ills Dahl Johnsen

Ines Wurth Presents / Johnsen & Johnsen produksjoner

Pleasance Dome

From 05 August 2016 to 27 August 2016

Rating: ***

Review by Amy Yorston

What do you think other people see when they look at you? Is it what you want them to see? Why do you care what they think anyway?

As a writer struggles to finish her book, scenarios haunt her psyche: success, failure, indifference, the views of critics, the views of her readers. What will they think of her and what does she want them to think?

Through a series of introspective set pieces, she tackles theories of identity through the lens of her own life. Coining the term "façade-omania", she examines emotions and relationships constantly interrogating what the "real her" wants from the situation and how she manipulates her personal image to achieve it.

Representing different facets of her personality, two other actors join the debate, questioning, teasing and providing contrasting perspectives. There is a good deal of humour in this carefully constructed script but the staging is bleak and appropriately much of the dialogue is too.

To fantasise about your own funeral might be morbid but it's the only place that others are likely to open up about how they feel about you. Carving out an identity and working on a personal brand is something that all humans have in common. Even those who profess not to care what others think tend to declare that sentiment loudly enough that others hear it anyway.

This line of philosophy runs through the piece and ultimately leaves the audience questioning their own motives and external image. Written as an ever-expanding argument, the script draws on themes covered by great existentialist writers and adds some very modern examples to the melting pot in a slightly convoluted but accessible way.

Although performed with great commitment and energy, the pace does flag a little towards the conclusion and certain points feel a little laboured. However, this is a piece of theatre drenched in philosophy and leaves the audience with plenty to ponder including the final haunting image.