Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: I Am Not Myself These Days, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Ben Walters.
You know it’s a bad night when you’re telling people you’re fine despite coming round in a pile of trash. Or when the two brothers you brought home for sex end up beating you up. Or when your boyfriend is bearing down on you with a kitchen knife.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell had all these bad nights and more during the year he lived a double life in New York as an advertising exec by day and drag queen Aqua by night, all the while drinking for his country and trying to maintain a relationship with a crack-addicted high-end rent boy.
In this solo show which he adapted from Kilmer-Purcell’s memoir, Tom Stuart appears as Aqua – trademark goldfish-bowl tits and all – and delivers her story, more or less verbatim, interspersed with a few lip-synch routines for good measure. It’s a curious text, valuable and moving as a document of 90s glamour and dysfunction but Kilmer-Purcell makes for a frustrating narrator of his own life, wittily observant rather than truly emotionally articulate or self-aware.
Still, Stuart is a charismatic presence and a fine actor and storyteller, conveying the extraordinary gamut of this underground New York fairytale to emotive effect.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 14 August 2015
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