Published in The Guardian
Grid Iron at the Traverse, Edinburgh
"I'M at home and I feel homesick," says the character of Kate Bane, explaining her unresolved anguish to the boyfriend who has come to meet her parents. Or rather, in Ella Hickson's new play for Grid Iron, it is one version of Kate Bane; whether or not she is the authorised version is hard to tell. Either way, she is a young woman trying to make sense of her past.
The Authorised Kate Bane couples the uncertainty of Six Characters in Search of an Author with the soul-baring family revelations of a minor Tennessee Williams play (minor because this particular family has suffered no trauma worse than an unhappy divorce). It is also an examination of how stories dominate our lives, affecting not only the way we understand the past, but how we project our future. If she is to be married, Kate must reconcile with her history and accept the possibility of a "happily ever after" ending.
There are times when the play drifts away from its central thesis, leaving some ideas dramatically unprocessed, but the clever concept holds it together, as does Hulse's impassioned central performance.
© Mark Fisher, 2012
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