City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Finding Nana, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 06 August 2017

Finding Nana - credit Pamela Raith
Show details
New Perspectives
Running time: 
Jane Upton (writer), Katie Posner (director), Sara Perks (designer), Alexandra Stafford-Marshall (lighting designer), Arun Gosh (sound designer).
Phoebe Frances Brown.

Resting fitfully on a single bed, Jane wrestles to capture memories of her beloved Grandmother before they slip away.

As she makes a list on her mobile phone we see the items projected onto the side of the bed - Imperial Leather, powder puff, pink dressing gown, Horlicks in a mug, sticky beach hugs … the last waltz.

All through her childhood they have holidayed together in the same room of the Mayfair Hotel on the Isle of Wight. The days would stretch out forever, a sort of immortality of living in the moment. She is now desperate to pull these shifting fragments together, fearful of losing her memories of Nana forever.

If only their hotel room walls could talk, but of course it was never “their” room and now she isn’t even sure of her memories. The hotel at least has a sense of place, and we see it through her eyes aged 15 and 30. It’s no rose-tinted recollection, as we see vivacious Nana decline, her own memory slipping away, fear and confusion taking their place.

As Jane makes the ferry crossing she finds herself distanced and all at sea. She will need to address not only the fear of forgetting but the nature of feelings and love and to what degree a person can ever really be known.

With a strong performance and inventive set and sound design the show is polished. Jane is a girl who doesn’t grow up, and perhaps if she did it would allow her greater emotional depth, but it’s one to remember.

Show Times: 2 – 28 (not 14) August 2017 at 3.30pm.

Tickets: £10.50 (£9.50) to £12.50 (£11.50).

Suitability: 14+