Writer: Gary McNair
Director: Gary McNair
Reviewer: Val Baskott
The Public Reviews Rating:
Traverse goes for gold with this one –woman storytelling marathon from Gary McNair. Born to Run premiered at Oran Mor and is now at the Fringe starring Shauna Macdonald as Jane, a runner who is at a crossroads in her life. Jane is no ordinary fitness freak or high achieving sportswoman but someone tackling severe epilepsy in her own way, rejecting standard advice and finding an alternative. Once she feels the aura if she runs she can stave off the seizures, she’s back in control. Or is she? When new surgery comes along she has to make a choice.
We meet Jane on a cross-desert ultrathon, a 110 miles slog, with Ipod, and an electronic running buddy to act as mile marker. This one sometimes becomes Jane’s conscience and starts to nag her to make up her mind before the finishing line. There’s a judicious use of occasional video images to anchor this epic storytelling but it all hangs on the performer’s skills.
Triathlonist Shauna Macdonald just glows in this role. Jogging on a treadmill for almost all of the 55 minutes, she tells Jane’s story with feeling, poignancy and humour. The lows of the diagnosis and of not being in control, the high of finding a breakthrough on the internet and getting it back again only to be trapped by that achievement. McNair subtly rounds out the character of Jane by revealing through the narrative the offstage performers, child and husband and their anxieties as the woman in their life changes.
It’s great piece of multi-layered writing and a shining performance.
Runs until 26th August