@ Clouds and Soil, Edinburgh, until Sat 29 Aug 2015 @ 14:15

Aiden has fled his life in Edinburgh, for the more peaceful retreat of the Isle of Skye. As the play begins, he is singing in the shower; to all intents and purposes Aiden seems like a happy, normal twenty-something. Having dressed, he proceeds to wipe his chair before he is able to sit down and so, as Joshua Considine’s monologue begins, the audience already know something is not quite right.

Considine washes his hands with anti-bacterial gel as he starts to tell his story; an action which becomes more like a ritual as the play continues. The phone rings intermittently, panicking poor Aiden, an alarm goes off to alert him that he needs to take a tablet. He explains on more than one occasion that he prefers the nighttime because people don’t bother him then.

Aiden is HIV positive, but the flawless monologue that Considine delivers could really be about any issue that involves the individual feeling it is better, safer, causes less hurt, to stay sealed away from those that they love. The only problem, as both Aiden and the audience realise in parallel, is that sealing oneself away isn’t really a life at all.

This is a serious piece of writing by Rebecca Monks but it is littered with good humour. When Aiden laughs, the audience laugh; when Aiden is angry, the audience feel his anger; and when his anxieties kick in, the audience feel appropriately uncomfortable, because these experiences are so real to so many. Considine is outstanding, the writing and direction (Daisy Jorgensen) are both strong and sensitive, and, most amazingly and unbelievably of all, this exemplary piece of fifty minute theatre is free!