Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: Caitlin, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter.
“Hello, my name is Caitlin and I’m an alcoholic.” So starts the AA meeting in the upstairs studio at Dance Base. We’re seated in a circle, and Caitlin Thomas – late wife of poet Dylan – is first to speak. Across the room, a man replies, “Hello Caitlin” – and they’re off, a couple bound by love but ripped apart by resentment, infidelity and, above all, alcohol.
This powerful two-hander does much to convey the complexity of Caitlin and Dylan’s marriage; the hedonistic fun in the early days, the monotony of child-rearing while one partner (Dylan) is off gallivanting; the mental illness and extreme use of alcohol on both parts.
Performers Eddie Ladd and Gwyn Emberton are indefatigable as they fling themselves around the room with energy, passion and desperation.
Ladd delivers the occasional line of text, to illustrate her side of the story (we never hear from Emberton – but then this show is called Caitlin, not Dylan), the rest is played out through movement. Most of which involves chairs, which are climbed through, thrown and pushed around – perhaps a bit too much.
It’s not an easy work, but one which leaves you with a strong curiosity to find out more about this troubled, yet fascinating relationship.
Dance Base (Venue 22) until 30 August
Published in The Scotsman on August 2015
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