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 Festival 2006
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(Z) 1 out of 156
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Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme



Zelda. (Page 215).
Drams full glass full glass full glass .
Venue
Sweet Grassmarket. (Venue 18).
Address Apex City hotel, 61 Grassmarket.
Reviewer Vivien Devlin.

When F. Scott Fitzgerald, "the most talented writer in America", married Zelda Sayre in 1920, they became the celebrity couple and media darlings of the day. That they were charming and extraordinarily beautiful has added a tragic dimension to their story. Like the characters of one of Fitzgerald's novels, they were the embodiment of "the beautiful and damned." Their marriage was subject to continued stress from their drinking, his tension about work, her feelings of neglect, love affairs, betrayal and financial worries. In 1930, Zelda suffered her first nervous breakdown, spending many years attending psychiatric clinics for rest and treatment. This is the setting and starting point of this one woman play, written and performed by Kelly Burke.

Zelda throws her energy into writing. Her aim is to be a fine writer one day and she begins writing a novel, inspired by her life and marriage. The rather disjointed structure of the play is composed of memories, flashbacks to vacations on the French Riviera, dramatised conversations (where Kelly plays various people - Fitzgerald, her dancing teacher, a doctor), with extracts from letters and novels, and in intimate detail, she describes her all-consuming love for Fitzgerald.

While Kelly Burke captures the effervescence of the crazy, talented, passionate Zelda, there is little dramatic substance, or journey, within the storyline. It is delivered in almost a monotone, with moments of wild hysteria. Playing different characters is confusing and doesn't work. Without any music or period set, it is difficult to capture the mood of the 1920s. All we have is Zelda sitting at her desk writing. And that does not make an entertaining play.
©Vivien Devlin, 4 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com.
Runs to 28 August at 14:10 every day.
Company -Yellow Heron.
Company Website - www.yellowheron.com .

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