How would you feel if you were seventeen and had no idea who your father was? How would you feel if when you discovered who he was he wasn’t quite how you had imagined? Well, this is the quandary facing title character, Elsie Thatchwick, in this debut play written by, and starring, Skye Lourie.
It is a raw outpouring from beginning to end. Outpourings of teen angst, of grief, of confusion, of shock, of realisation and finally, of acceptance, and touches on some interesting and relevant issues. All the more impressive is that all of this is covered by just two actors, Lourie playing Elsie and Graeme Dalling playing everyone else with just a subtle changing of props; beautifully simple and yet wonderfully effective. Nan, jakey, annoying teenager, bus driver – Dalling can play them all.
There are touches of humour alongside some tear-jerking scenes and, although some of the ‘twists’ are slightly predictable, it is a playscript worth much merit. Lourie clearly has a gift for a story, this one based loosely on her own experiences and dedicated to her own father.
It is not always easy bringing a show to the Edinburgh Fringe though and it is a mark of the dedication and belief in the script that it was a successful crowdfunding project which brought Elsie Thatchwick here. It is deserving of its place and if a powerful piece of drama is what you are looking for in the early evening then Lourie and Dalling will give you that.
Lourie has an intensity which draws the audience in and although her Glasgow accent at times sounds more like a Hebridean one and her selection of music is somewhat controversial around these parts she, and the play, deserve every success.