Theatre review: Beautiful, Terrifying, Love
Theatre review: Beautiful, Terrifying, Love

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Beautiful, Terrifying, Love, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock. ★★★ We’re just going to come on out and spoiler it right now, because there’s a certain audience who’ll want to know this fact: Debra De Liso, our solo host here, made her mark on film history playing one of the …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Beautiful, Terrifying, Love, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.

★★★

We’re just going to come on out and spoiler it right now, because there’s a certain audience who’ll want to know this fact: Debra De Liso, our solo host here, made her mark on film history playing one of the slasher victims in the 1982 schlock horror movie The Slumber Party Massacre.

As she tells us, she ended up stuffed in a fridge.

This is not a play about those days, but it comes up, particularly her family’s reaction to the whole affair.

Instead, told with script-in-hand and oddly limited to four performances, it’s a bittersweet memoir.

Such a project can often whiff strongly of self-indulgence, but De Liso – now a performance tutor at the University of Southern California and an in-work stage and screen actor – is too good to let even what amounts to a rehearsed reading go to waste.

We learn of her father’s alcoholism, her mother’s stroke-induced disability, her marriage, and her own wayward early experiences contrasted with those of her adult daughter, each vignette told in such a manner that she draws out the personalities of those described and her own remembered emotions with assured grace.

It’s probably not one for horror fans, but it is an involving if somewhat undercooked hour of heartfelt biography.

Paradise in the Vault (Venue 29) 14 and 21 August / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 12 August 2015

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