Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Bedsocks and Secrets, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott
AN OLDER woman, Ella, is half-undressed and crying. Beside her, her two Geordie care workers are holding on to her clothes, chatting about who’s dating who and where they’d like to go on holiday. As the woman, confused, asks where her son Ken is, they absentmindedly scrub at her skin, brush her hair and ignore everything she says. It’s a shocking scene, one in which writers Alison Stanley and John Dixon effectively highlight the cruelty of two well-meaning but uncaring people, neither properly trained nor held to account by the home they’re working in.
The script, based on real stories, is strikingly well-observed, full of the jovial banter that makes north-eastern dialogue so rich but, in this instance, also sinister. And the cast, in particular the lead women, give the kind of striking performances it’s very exciting to find in a small venue.
Unfortunately, the story changes direction mid-way to concentrate on Ken’s relationship with a young girl, denying us the chance of a proper exploration of pertinent themes set up in the first act. This could be a powerful play, but the story of cheerful neglect needs more space and greater focus to properly develop.
Spotlites (Venue 278), until 31 August, 4:55pm.
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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