The Aspirations of Daise Morrow
Assembly George Square Gardens
Simple can sometimes be best. This Australian visitor uses no mod cons but is utterly lovely.
A talented ensemble cast of four (Paul Blackwell, Lucy Lehmann, Genevieve Picot and James Smith) play around a dozen roles, gender never too much of a concern, and are accompanied by the highly accomplished string players of the Zephyr Quartet.
The action of Patrick White's short story Down at the Dump from which the play has been adapted is set in a rural area and is portrayed by perambulating actors weaving and circling around their audience.
The tale is touching and very beautiful. It is sparked by the funeral of eponymous Daise, a free spirit before they existed in her milieu.
Shocking the locals, this lovely lady took pity on and fell in love with an outcast, much to the distress of her hoity toity family. Her story unfolds expertly and a parallel is drawn with burgeoning love between a couple of teenagers with differing backgrounds.
What might have been a dry reading of a short story becomes magical thanks to a clever adaptation and wonderful staging by director Chris Drummond, who inventively creates and distinguishes between numerous characters so that there is never a moment of confusion.
Sadly, The Aspirations of Daise Morrow is not in Edinburgh for long but catch it if you can.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher