City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

3 Seconds, Traverse Theatre, Review


By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 20 February 2013

4
Show Details
Venue: 
Traverse Theatre
Company: 
Oran Mor presented by the Traverse Theatre
Production: 
Hamish Pirie (director), Martin O'Neil (assistant director), Patrick McGurn (designer)
Performers: 
Cara Kelly (Mary), Claire Knight (Diane), Helen Mackay (Christine)
Running time: 
45mins

It will come to us all, at some point, but what’s left of us is less important than what we leave behind, in the memories of those who are left.

3 Seconds turns an unflinching gaze toward the aftermath of tragedy. In a small Scottish town, Mary has been sending Diane hate-filled texts, but confronting her persecutor leads to the gradual revelation of the reason for Mary’s actions.

Cara Kelly (Mary), Claire Knight (Diane) and Helen Mackay as Mary’s daughter Christine perform with genuine conviction, making this opening offering in this year’s A Play, a Pie and a Pint season a piece of real theatre which was a privilege to watch from the outset.

For this reviewer, any performance that renders the ritual of note-taking both superfluous and a distraction is, to state the blinking obvious, well worth the audience’s time and money.

Lesley Hart is clearly a playwright with considerable talent and potential, here unafraid of tackling issues and areas that lesser mortals might avoid or elide over. If there’s any sort of carping cavil to make on this production, it’s perhaps that the unavoidable restrictions of the format left at least this reviewer wishing for more text to explore the issues so skilfully raised here.

Hamish Pirie’s direction felt tight as a drum skin, though never obtrusively so, and Patrick McGurn’s design never obtrudes, leaving us to focus fully on an almost perfect gem of a play.

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