A stylish and thought-provoking production, Thomas Eccleshare’s Heather explores the importance we find in storytelling, and how we judge the people who tell them. This two-person play tells the story of a children’s writer, Heather Eems, whose private life is dragged into the gaze of the public eye when her book becomes a sensational best-seller. As the show’s blurb asks, ‘what matters more, the storyteller or the story?’.
The show’s two actors do an excellent job bringing these ideas to life. Charlotte Melia plays the gentle and tentative Heather, whose fantastical kids books take the literary world by storm, while Ashley Gerlach plays her charismatic editor. The two actors bounce off each other with perfect rapport and excellent comic timing. As the play progresses, however, the tone changes and the two actors take on a host of much more sinister characters.
Credit is also owed to Joe Price for the elegant use of lighting. Periodically, the play adopts an otherworldly aesthetic to evoke the fantastical world of Heather’s books: simple washes of white light are replaced by neon pinks and lurid blues which cast the stage in a suitably magical ambience.
It can be tricky to review a show that relies heavily on plot twists without spoiling its mysterious appeal. Suffice it to say that this performance asks poignant questions about trust, judgement and redemption, and the significance that we attach to stories. Intrigued? Don’t try to figure it out, go to see the show.
Summerhall (Venue 26)
Until 27th August
Photo courtesy of production