Of Sound Mind

Ronnie Dorsey Productions and Scamp Theatre
Udderbelly Pasture

An older woman sits in a rose tinted room and give rose tinted recollections of her rose garden and the men she buried there. Wait, what? Yes, this is one of those wonderful Fringe shows which begins with a slowly building narrative and then suddenly drops an almightly clanger, utterly altering the narrative from that point onwards. As it continues more and more details are teased out as the twisted story unravels. It's a slight disappointment then, that the topic is made to feel quite so pedestrian in the end. There is a hint at first of the madness of the character but as the story progresses it is plainly evident we are supposed to lay our sympathies with her, rather than her victims, with the scant and tantalising possibility that she was simply wrong about them.

The piece is well written and even includes a snippet or two of Dorsey's poetry, furthering the characterisation of the woman and her haunted and uncomfortable past. For a first time playwright, Dorsey has shown considerable skill and an almost Atwood level of sophisticaton in her prose. With luck she will continue to bring similar skill to future productions. There was also a brilliant piece of physical staging present as while the actor sits in her comfortable chair, occasionally moving, she is reflected in four angles mirrors behind her, meaning that the audience is perpetually confronted with more than one facet of her greatly subtle performance at any time.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan

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