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Her Right Mind
Published on Saturday, 18 August 2012
3

3 stars

Greenside (venue website)
Theatre
3-11, 13-18, 20-25 Aug, 5:20pm-6:15pm
Reviewed by Allison Mckeon

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.
 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.

Out-of-the-way and up-the-hill venue Greenside has featured some really impressive and original theatre this Fringe, which perhaps holds Her Right Mind to unfairly high standards. The show itself was polished and well-executed, but I think the storyline and overall style of the play fall into the merely ‘good’ category – not glaringly bad, not superlative, but lukewarm. This feeling comes from a balance of some great components and a vague lack of poignancy.

The story of a slightly disabled brother and his sister, who lives with and cares for him, unfolds with the truly innovative use of props and over-use of music tracks. The dynamic between this brother and sister is initially charming and believable, and the show sets out with purposeful strides. However, the plot began to meander and then stagnate as the performance progressed: I was confused as to which bits were meant to be more significant to the plot than others, and was surprised by the point at which it ends. I felt that much of the show was either over- or under- emphasized, which made it difficult to really engage with the story and made me feel, despite my better attentive efforts, adrift as a member of the audience.

Those flaws with narrative pace aside, there are a lot of really lovely moments between the characters, and they develop individual identities well. Such creative maneuvers as blowing up balloons on stage to use as ice cream scoops (sitting on rolled paper cones) were really charming, and interspersing primary-storyline scenes with those of a kind of Greek chorus of the past fleshed out important back-information very successfully.

The show has some great facets, but it doesn’t quite feel cohesive. There’s a lot of lighthearted humour which makes it certainly enjoyable, and its more thoughtful and serious undertones give it enough depth to mark it as a show for adults. All things considered, it doesn’t resonate particularly, but it’s pleasant and worth seeing.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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