City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner Review

By Garry Platt - Posted on 04 August 2013

Show details
Anthony Coleridge
Running time: 
Charlie Gardner (Costume) Neal Gray (DSM) Chris Bartholomew (Composer) Tim Downie (Writer) Anthony Coleridge (Director) Simon Paris (Assistant Director) Martin Thomas (Set Designer)
Anil Desai (The Peruvian / Uncle Mortimer) Josh Haberfield (James Faulkner) Neil Henry (Reginald Thorndike) Harriette Sym - Miss Francis, Dolores and the Old Woman

This comedic play has one immediate advantage over most others, it's location; Just The Tonic at the Caves. This venue has natural air conditioning due to its subterranean location, it's cool, literally. So for once I could sit and comfortably absorb the play rather than boil to death.

The play is absurdist comedy, and centres on the story of one James Faulkner and the need to dig up his grandmother in order to recover and return a mysterious artefact to its rightful owners and so lift the curse. I'm not going to tell you anything else of the story you'll need to go and see it to see if he succeeds.

The cast are a gifted bunch, the characters they have created from Tim Downie's text are ridiculously rich in detail and the audience engage with them instantly. Anil Desai as the the Peruvian and Uncle Mortimer is particularly worthy of note. The delivery of some of his lines and timing are perfect as is the work of Harriette Sym, who appears as Miss Francis, Dolores and the Old Woman, a spectrum of office bimbo to hag and into harlot.

The work is littered with clever word play and funny lines but there are also sections where the work loses some of its pace, and the punch lines either fail to deliver are or simply not funny enough. However there are glimpses of genius in this work by everyone involved in this production which sustain the arid sections.

The costumes are interesting, the first two characters on stage are donned in full Edwardian gear, the secretary emerges and is wearing what looks to be almost modern clothing. The Peruvian enters in a heavy cloak and hood and cream loafers, I don't get it. Or maybe that's the point?

This is a funny play written, acted and directed with energy and commitment. There are occasional lapses but the raw talent pushes past this, worth seeing as the chuckles I still get thinking about this show attest to.

Runs 4th– 25th Aug 2013, 12.40am (not 13 Aug)

Tickets £10 Concessions (£8)

Suitability 12