Victim Review

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Pleasance Courtyard – until 28 August.  Reviewed by Linda McLaughlan

5*****

This one woman show written by Martin Murphy and performed by Louise Beresford, took the audience through an excerpt of two characters lives.

The performance took place in the Attic located in the Pleasance Courtyard and could not have been a more apt location. The snugness of the room allowed for the audience to be up close and personal with Louise as she began to tell the story of the power struggle between Tracey, a prison guard and Siobhan a convicted criminal doing time in prison.

The scene is set as Tracey tells us how things can change in life so quickly, just when you think everything is okay life can unravel and turn itself on its head. Her life as a Prison guard seems mundane and uneventful as she tells us abut the lengths some inmates will go to get “stuff” brought in from the outside and how many are so manipulative that if you give them an inch they will take a mile. Reference is made to her work colleague George who likes to repeat the same story over and over.

Scene two introduces us to Siobhan who can appear almost nice and very approachable but there are indications that her persona is a well rehearsed act for her latest targets benefit. Reference is made at this point to a third person Marcia…. a notorious baby killer who has been moved to the prison…. The object of Tracey’s obsession and now the cell mate of Siobhan.

Louise expertly changes from one character to another with effortless ease and keeps you entranced with the lives of the two main characters. Her professional performance has you almost believing everything she is telling you about the lives of Tracey and Siobhan and you can almost relate to how they talk about their fears, anxieties and about the road their lives have taken. Although one is free and the other locked up for life they both seem trapped in their situations.

There were many occasions throughout the show eye contact was made with Louise and this can feel quite unnerving depending on the persona she was portraying at the time, several times she stays in character as she sits next to an unsuspecting audience member and almost drools over them as Siobhan talks inappropriately about sexual encounters and also how to get what she wants by watching and waiting.

The story progresses to show how one little mistake can slowly be the start of life unravelling and having no where to turn……… just who then becomes the Victim?

The professional performance was a credit to Louise and the way she delivered the story of the two women involved in Victim. It was clear to see why this play has been brought to the Fringe and should be watched by everyone. A five star performance that I wouldn’t hesitate to go watch again……….Artistically Brilliant!!

 

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