The stage newspaper at the edinburgh festival and fringe 1999
Gilded Balloon Theatre
Jacqueline Pearce is the star in question - and the tearing is mostly about how she should present her one-woman show in Edinburgh. As a device this works pretty well, allowing her to address her monologue to a photograph of Rudolph Nureyev, debating that very question with him.
Should she, as she wants, go with the stand-up comic routine? Or should she listen to her director, Spencer Butler, and simply tell the story of her life, stopping off on all the interesting bits like starring as Servelan in four series of Blake's 7 and staying with Estell Winwood in Hollywood?
Simple the device may be but, to make it effective, it has to be written and performed very well indeed. Pearce's performance of the piece she and Butler devised together is, indeed, bang on target. She seems to make it up on the spot.
The only real mistake is failing to make eye-contact with the audience for her final, much awaited joke. Proof that detached monologue, not intimate stand-up, is the mode for her. Thom Dibdin
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Last updated on 17th of October 1999.