Love. Guts. High School

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18) at Just Festival (Venue 127). Review by Sally Stott

Do you know those people you have relationships with when you’re young and then end up kind of stuck with for life? Jeanette Bonner certainly does. This, her one-woman play, follows her teenage infatuation with her best mate Gabe to becoming “friends with benefits” to finally letting go, to him becoming an acquaintance she barely sees anymore.

Based on real life (the flier contains a stalker-ish picture of them both with his face scratched out), it’s a small and personal tale about moving on, told by a woman who starts off as an all-America teenager (oh my god, she says “oh my god” so many times I was, like, oh my god) and then develops into a more considered piece on the changing way we see relationships as we get older.

Bonner’s delivery is loud and grating at first – and so is her character – but that is part of the point and this eventually subsides in favour of a coming-of-age tale anyone who has ever loved, not been loved back, and persevered anyway will get.

Has Gabe seen the show someone asks at the end? No, she replies, but he’s still out there. It’s a rather unsettling thought.

Until 24 August. Today 4pm, more info

Originally published in The Scotsman

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