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Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Culture Diary: Villain ~ Edinburgh Preview

Villain is a production very much of the moment. Told from the perspective of Rachel, a young woman in search of a career that could make a difference to people, following a stint as a sales person at an insurance company, the play explores her involvement in a high profile case involving a baby. With echoes of many recent news stories, playwright and director Martin Murphy examines how our social media society demonizes and hounds people, while providing an interesting new perspective on the responsibility of social workers. 

Performed by Maddie Rice this was fringe theatre doing what it does best. Audiences were treated to a talented performer, an amusing script which had depth and nuance, and all within a palatable one act (which flew by). A one person show is a demanding feat, and requires an actor who is able to vary tone and pace with competence, leading the audience to laugh, pause, and gasp at the right moments. Rice's big eyed stare, her movement and off the cuff delivery of comedic lines more than proved her ability to rise to the challenge.

The narrative was varied and took us from moments after the story had broken, back to Rachel's first job out of university, cleverly drawing us into her inner world. This character development formed the backbone of the story, lending the conclusion far more of a punch. We saw how this young woman had come to realise her post-university life felt empty, lonely and pointless. We watched as she reveled in the new challenge offered by a career in social work, and saw how she bonded with clients, until one case changed her life irrevocably.

A play with energy, poignancy and humour, this is one to catch when it runs at the Edinburgh Fringe between the 4 and 28 August at the Underbelly Cowgate venue.

Visit Bruised Sky Productions website for more information on this play.

Once again, many thanks to Theatrebloggers.co.uk for arranging a press ticket to this show.

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