Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: I Am Beast, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield.
Ellie’s mum died, and now she spends her days skipping school and living in her imagination as comic-book heroine Blaze, outrunning cops, beating up bad guys and trying to rescue her partner and mentor Silver from the arch-villain Dr Oblivion.
But things aren’t going well. Blaze can’t seem to save Silver; all she’s succeeded in doing is making enemies of everyone else. Now there’s a monster in the house too, one which isn’t part of Ellie’s fantasies, and she can’t work out whether she needs to fight it or make friends with it.
Sparkle and Dark made I Am Beast after a series of workshops on mental health issues with teenagers in London. It’s full of energy and raw emotion, centring around a powerful performance by Lizzie Muncey as Ellie. However, while the fantasy world is inventively conjured, it is a world of comic-book cliché, right down to the white-coated arch-villain with the maniacal laugh. While never dull, its cardboard cut-out primary colours at times sit awkwardly with the profound, complex feelings Ellie needs to face in order to come to terms with her mother’s death.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 11 August 2015
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