Ciara

David Harrower

Datum Point Productions

Traverse Theatre

From 01 August 2013 to 25 August 2013

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

In Edinburgh, it is easy to become shy of solo shows. They abound and all too often are tedious in the extreme. Ciara is the exception that proves the rule, effortlessly holding the attention for 75 gripping minutes.

That is a compliment to a creative ream comprising experienced Fringe writer David Harrower, the Traverse’s Artistic Director, Orla O’Loughlin and actress Blythe Duff in a Traverse co-production with Datum Point Productions.

Ciara is the cultured owner of a Glasgow art gallery, who begins by talking about her latest discovery, a forgotten painter who might just be due for a renaissance and popular acclaim.

Gradually, the story shifts as Ciara introduces her dad, Mick and partner Brian, both of whom have interesting backgrounds, with many similarities.

By the end, we realise that this piece, which has the pacing of Conor Macpherson, is a tale of tawdry petty gangsters, as much as the sophisticated world of modern art.

Blythe Duff gives a lovely, understated performance as a woman bridging two contrasting milieus with remarkable aplomb.