Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Tether, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.
“I F***ED up my GCSEs, I’m a woman and I’ve always been a bit gobby,” says Becky, “Being blind isn’t my biggest problem.” It’s an attitude which has kept her on the road and running, but it doesn’t make her the greatest running partner. Mark, acting as her running guide because his girlfriend – Becky’s friend – insisted he do it, doesn’t quite know what he’s letting himself in for. They race through the park and across roads, tethered together by a cord linking wrist to wrist, but sometimes it feels like she’s dragging him around.
Written by Royal Court Young Writers Programme graduate Isley Lynn, this is a play which speaks of emotional truth and of well-researched insight into a unique experience. Mark is a frustrated top-level runner, and when he begins to see Becky’s ability he starts to obsess over her success to the detriment of his own relationship. Becky, dealt an awful hand when each of her retinas was knocked out while playing sports as a child, runs for the release, the sense of freedom, but she can’t do it alone; it’s like a relationship between the pair, a co-dependency. But as we discover, competition is denied Becky anyway, for long-distance running is only a Paralympic event for males.
There’s a certain worthy tone, but this is a unique story and it’s told in compelling fashion by young leads Maisie Greenwood and Lee Drage.
Underbelly (Venue 61) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
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