Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Blow Me Beautiful

Gabriel Quigley and Vicki Liddelle
Stellar Quines Theatre Company in association with Absolutely Productions
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
(2010)

Series publicity image

Blow Me Beautiful is hilarious. Written by Gabriel Quigley and Vicki Liddelle, the script is cleverly crafted and packed full with laughs from start to finish.

Yet far from being a polished theatre production, Blow Me Beautiful is a play in development. The performance was a reading of the script at the Traverse theatre in Edinburgh.

Blow Me Beautiful is part of Stellar Quines Theatre Company Rehearsal Room programme. The show is being developed in association with Absolutely Productions famous for TV programmes Absolutely and Trigger Happy TV. This distinctive facet of theatre-going invites the audience to be part of the creative process of shaping and forming a piece of theatre. The performance comes complete with feedback forms and a discussion between the actors, directors, writers and the audience.

The experience of seeing a show which is still in development is like entering a process which is usually a secret. The aspects involved in pulling the final details together and different perspectives which will influence the final product are exciting and fascinating. The raw performance of Blow Me Beautiful has demonstrated that the show has huge potential and is deserving of a full scale production.

The show itself if set in a small hairdressing salon on Edinburgh's Royal Mile. The stage is bare but for four swivel chairs, a hairdryer and a toilet. Manager Raymond Bussell rallies round as the staff and customers prepare for Edinburgh's annual hair salon competition with just a few notes of encouragement from Dolly Parton, Judy Garland and Barbara Streisland. This year there is more at stake than simply beating Sandra fae Sheers down the road.

Although the scripts are still in hand the actors offer memorable and side-splitting performances. Gail Watson and Gavin Mitchell bring to life with exceptional humour the quirky traits which have the audience laughing heartily for the duration.

In its present form, the show is one of the funniest pieces of writing to grace the stage in recent years. Its continued development shows the vibrancy and freshness of play writing in Scotland.

"Dare to Care" and "The Next of It" continue the Rehearsal Room series on the 29th and 30th of April.

Reviewer: Alison Burns