City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

White Ted and the Right to Die, Traverse Theatre, Review

By michelle.haynes - Posted on 14 September 2014

White Ted and the Right to Die - man and ted
Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in collaboration with Playwrights' Studio Scotland
Jo Clifford (Writer), Jessica Thigpen (Choreography), Jessica Awuila Cymerman (Director and Set Design)
Eddy Hull (White Ted), Eanna O'Dowd (Benji), Jessica Thigpen (Themselves 1), Amy Drummond (Themselves 2), Zachary Jost (Nurse/Consultant), Renee Willaims (Vet/GP)
Running time: 

Euthanasia has been a widely controversial topic that has been increasingly brought up in the news. When the right to live is so strongly protected why should the right to die not also be an option? ‘White Ted and the Right to Die’ by Jo Clifford is a insightful new play narrated through the eyes of an impartial teddy bear who watches as his human and his loyal dog are given very different options when their quality of life becomes almost unbearable.

Based on a true story the play follows the short life of Themselves 1 and 2 (Jessica Thigpen and Amy Drummond). Beginning with the recent passing of their partner Dan and their beloved dog Benji (Eanna O’Dowd), the audience is given the insight into the struggle of a life coping with carpal tunnel syndrome and the dilemma of the right decision when the only option is to stay alive, not to live a life.

From the offset the audience are introduced to the characters of White Ted (Eddy Hull) and Benji, who through well-choreographed physicality take on the form of Bear and Dog perfectly. Both O’Dowd and Hull give charming performances throughout with Hulls every movement flawlessly in sync with the teddy bear. O’Dowd provided much needed light relief, interacting with the audience yet also remaining unbiased in his views. The writing is extremely clever, with the dialogue of the Bear charismatic yet with a certain innocent sadness and a particularly beautiful speech from the Consultant (Zachary Jost) who describes the greatest mystery of life as being encased within the cerebellum itself. One of the only criticisms would have to be that some of the synchronised choreography between Themselves 1 and 2 was a little out of time and didn’t quite join up, however with the volume of movement sequences that they had they did well to keep it going throughout. Tackling a subject that is often considered a taboo, Cliffords ‘White Ted and the Right to Die’ is a witty yet moving play that provokes conversation on a topic that could at some point, affect all of our lives.

Run ended.