The Carousel**** (Traverse 2 Theatre, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 16, 2014 in Theatre
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Maureen Beattie in The Carousel, in EdinburghThe third of a trilogy of plays by French Canadian writer Jennifer Tremblay, The Carousel relates the stories of three generations of women, all seeking to come to terms with their links to each other and with their places on the carousel of life. A granddaughter speaks to her now departed grandmother who had seemingly cherished her sons, but rejected her only daughter, the girl’s mother; they rake over traumas in the family’s history and and they try to understand how these experiences will help the girl as she moves forward. All three characters in this superbly written but complex piece are played by the same actor, switching frequently from one to another, and this leads to difficulties in connecting with the narrative in the early stages. However, the emotional power increases as the play progresses, thanks largely to wonderful acting by Maureen Beattie. At this performance, Beattie stopped the play early on, because of an unexplained noise, informing the audience that she could not allow anything to interfere with the intense concentration which she needs. Once the play restarted, her reasons quickly became clear. This deeply moving play gets a true powerhouse performance.

Performance date: 15 August 2014

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