Last Updated on 10th August 2023
Paul T Davies reviews Ciara Elizabeth Smyth’s play Lie Low now running at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Venue Traverse Theatre Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Star Rating 3
Faye is having trouble sleeping, nightmares are being triggered by a home invasion when she disturbed a burglar who was wearing a duck mask and knocked her out. When she came to, he was standing over her with his penis out. When her, (possible), therapist suggests she tackle her fears, she enlists the help of her brother Naoise, to face her duck demons. But he has a secret that’s about to be exposed, and they become locked in an inevitable loop of performance.
Clara Elizabeth Smyth’s script is original and challenging, saying many things about mental health and support. It’s the surreal elements that work well, with a blistering 70s soundtrack and superb dancing. But the quirkiness overwhelms the situation, we never get to the heart of Faye’s issues and it all feels awkwardly unconvincing.
This is to take nothing away from the performances. Charlotte McCurry is outstandingly neurotic as Faye, fizzing with nervous energy and Michael Patrick captures the awkwardness yet necessity of the situation superbly, he needs something from Faye as much as she needs him. Movement by Thomas Finnigsn is superb, using the space very well. I found the play intriguing if unconvincing in its set up, but executed very well.