Theatre review: Hooked

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Hooked at Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18), reviewed by Fiona Shepherd

Carolyn Smart’s stage adaptation of her own book Hooked comprises monologues by seven (in)famous women of the past century – Moors murderer Myra Hindley, debutante and Hitler groupie Unity Mitford, painter Dora Carrington and writers Zelda Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Smart, Carson McCullers and Jane Bowles.

Some are better known than others. All were hooked, some on booze and pills, many of them on unsuitable men – gay, married or psychopathic. All were blighted by ill-health, be it physical, mental or both, and some came to ignominious ends.

Canadian actress Nicky Guadagni is very watchable as all of them. There is only time for a bite-sized audience with each of the women, but Smart’s script distils their principal passions adequately, or as much as one can in the case of Hindley, the phlegmatic odd woman out in that she does not ultimately emerge as a victim of love, and retains the most toxic legacy.

Guadagni’s Hindley perches vulture-like on a chair, closed in on herself, while the others are portrayed making sweeping, sometimes melodramatic moves, ready for their close-ups.

Until 25 August. Tomorrow 10:30pm

More info: Hooked is at Sweet Grassmarket

Originally published in The Scotsman

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