Review: Power Play – Somebody

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 12 Aug 2018

While other offerings in the Pleasance's Power Play series revolve around isolated hot button issues, Matilda Curtis' Somebody presents a more holistic view of human experience and is all the better for it.

When we meet the protagonist, referred to only as Girl, she's in her kitchen recounting a recent marriage proposal as if confiding in a friend. Though clearly an adult, she's only on the cusp of what might be recognised as conventional womanhood. The prospect of being tied down and fully committing to her partner has shaken her, but we don't know why. As she leads us through a genuine flat, key scenes from her life are enacted, collectively accounting for her present state.

Pregnancy scares, unexpected menstrual bleeding and teenage betrayals are easily relatable everyday events that can nonetheless have big impact on individuals. In presenting them 'on stage', Somebody validates and brings dignity to frequently ignored totems of femininity.

Unfortunately, the play is structured around a central mystery and revelation that feels melodramatic in the context of realist theatre. It makes dramatic sense to build toward a devastating tragedy, but it's to Somebody's detriment that it goes from being a well realised slice of life to something much more portentous. Dani Moseley's performance is astonishing and hits all the right notes, but can't distract from the script's inconsistency.