Finding Fassbender, a one-woman play written by and starring Lydia Larson follows Eve – a 31-year-old woman from Wolverhampton who leaves home for the first time to live and work in London. Homesick and lonely, Eve finds herself on a fantastical adventure when she sets out to return a letter to Michael Fassbender, a former tenant of her London flat. Along the way Eve tries to find her own identity, her place in the world and discover what she’s really made of.
Eve begins her story delivering a eulogy at her aunt’s funeral and later reflecting on how she would likely be remembered at the end of her life. She’s just been offered a promotion from her lowly call centre job to team leader – a short-term position in London which would mean leaving behind her family, boyfriend Rich and beloved cat Steve Bull (named after the Wolverhampton Wanderers player). After dithering over the decision, she decides to take a chance and accept the job even though her family aren’t convinced she’ll last more than a week in the big city.
Her new life in London starts well – a swish city centre office, colleagues who enjoy cracking open a beer at 5pm on a Wednesday and cute little mice on the Tube – what more could she ask for? The shine quickly wears off and Eve finds herself isolated at work, living in a shithole with housemates she hates and dreaming of her life back in the Midlands. During a tidying spree she finds a letter addressed to former resident Fassbender and hatches a series of hare-brained schemes to reunite the actor with his post.
The search for Fassbender causes Eve to engage with some interesting new pastimes in the hopes she’ll bump into the actor and whilst the story may take the audience on a ridiculous ride Larson’s performance is captivating and believable throughout. The actor portrays Eve as charming and idiosyncratic and the conversational delivery makes the audience feel fully engaged in the drama. The play, directed by Blythe Stewart, is staged simply to allow Larson’s talents as a performer to shine with an impressive array of accents in her arsenal.
Finding Fassbender relies on the viewers to suspend their disbelief and step inside Eve’s overactive imagination. But with a consistently funny script the audience are happy to be taken on the adventure, even when the play reaches its slightly surreal climax. The show ends on an uplifting note, with Eve discovering more about herself then the man she’s been searching for and the closing monologue is touching and satisfying. It’s a real joyful gem of a show which had the audience grinning throughout.