‘Extremely moving performance’: THE WORDS ARE THERE – Edinburgh Fringe ★★★★

In Edinburgh Festival, Festivals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland by Elaine ChapmanLeave a Comment

thespace @ Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh – until 24 August 2019

Domestic violence is a difficult topic to approach on a media platform. With far more training and attitudes changing authorities like the police now have tougher sanctions for the perpetrators. However, victims of these crimes are only women surely? Wrong, statistics show that for every three reported incidents one of those is against a man.

Ronan Dempsey’s one-man physical performance production brings to the Fringe a powerful play about a male victim of domestic violence. His female co-actor takes the form of an old rope head mop. As the story progresses, the suspension of your disbelief takes over and you visualise the female form rather than seeing a dressed up a mop-prop.

The slow demise into how abuse is drip-fed into a domestic violence relationship is sympathetically played out for the audience. The first violent contact takes place in the nightclub when Trish goes into a jealous rage. It is at this point that the audience wakes up to what has been subtly playing out in front of you.

As Trish deepens her hold on him the things she once told him she loved about him are now used against him as verbal daggers. Such as his stutter. Leaving her victim reeling and confused at her treatment of him and not understanding what he can do to make her happy.

The fear in Dempsey’s body language and pronounced stutter worsens as her control take a firm grip on the relationship. Nothing in an abusive relationship happens immediately, the build-up is always a gradual one.

The Words are There is the first production this year to have bought me to tears. An extremely moving performance which leaves a mixture of horror, shock and empathy all rolled into one as the extremely emotive play ends.

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Elaine Chapman
Elaine Chapman an English graduate from Winchester University. By day a mother and business owner. By night an avid theatregoer enjoying the world of reviewing theatre and films from an audience perspective.
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Elaine Chapman on RssElaine Chapman on Twitter
Elaine Chapman
Elaine Chapman an English graduate from Winchester University. By day a mother and business owner. By night an avid theatregoer enjoying the world of reviewing theatre and films from an audience perspective.

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