Thursday, August 18

Psychodrama – Traverse Theatre

Emily Bruni knocks your socks off in Psychodrama. Playing a talented actor with middling past success who now works in a boutique while taking acting jobs here and there, she finds herself enmeshed in a murder case.

Bruni walks us through the events leading up to the incident and what a walk it is! The audience is taken into her confidence. You are genuinely convinced she is telling you personally. This woman can turn on a sixpence: one minute meek and fragile, the next filled with power, dancing carefree and wild. It is awesome to observe and the standing ovation she received is well deserved.

Matt Wilkinson’s script requires a fully-rounded performer. It scopes the entire range of personality traits – a palette of such breadth and depth that we hungrily anticipate what comes next. It demands the ability to deliver a he said/she said narrative with deep faith and immersion. Bruni truly lives the part throughout.

Supported by nothing more than a stool and black box staging, Bruni sets fire to the text. It plunges into her domestic life, her past, her quirks and propensities and it sparkles with wit. Our protagonist loves the creativity of designer outfits and combining shoes and coats, so they look just right. Yet, she knows she is past her sell-by date, her appeal is passé and she cannot help but be bitter that youthful beauty, dishonesty and slender limbs win over hard work, integrity and ability. The trivia of the visual world of film and TV elbows out talent in its obsession with glamour and celebrity – a folly one particular director will not live to regret.

Writer and director, Matt Wilkinson, trained at RADA and has performed in theatre, TV, film and animation.

His text is delivered with beautiful timing, outstanding expression and utter professionalism by Emily Bruni. I cannot fault this production. Go see.

Playing until 28th August, full information at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/psychodrama

Reviewer: Kathleen Mansfield

Reviewed: 5th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★

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