Writer: Jules Horne
Director: Kate Nelson
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
Set in the seaside town of Burntisland, Thread is a touching and atmospheric play that looks at the ties that bind people together. Introducing William, Izzy and Joan at the town’s annual Beetledrive, the audience are drawn in to the story through a series of monologues, interactions, and a generous helping of audience participation.
Taking place predominantly in the 1950s, we see the development of the relationships between the three characters and the challenges they face as the years go on. Friends since childhood, Izzy (Mary Gapinski) and Joan (Clair Dargo) invite the audience into their reminiscences, whichare often amusing and ably illustrated by the two talented actresses. When William (Stephen Docherty) marries Joan he feels Izzy is always intruding, and the dialogue between the trio alternates between friendly banter and prickly resentment.
As they age, they encounter a new set of problems culminating in the onset of dementia in Joan, superbly and subtly portrayed by Dargo. Gapinski gives a strong performance as Izzy, a woman who knows her own mind and walks to the beat of her own drummer. Dapper Docherty is both a charming host to the audience and a loving husband to Joan, and his complicated relationship with both women is well drawn.
Although the piece is incredibly watchable and often moving, at fifteen minutes shorter than billed it does feel like some moments have been missed. The direction is unimaginative despite the dedicated space and not enough is made of the rapport the characters hold with the audience, so it appears to be the sheer will and talent of the cast that makes this play such a find.
Until 26th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: Thread – Assembly St Marks,