Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Not In Edinburgh

I am not in Edinburgh. And am suffering from a fairly strong dose of Edinburgh envy as a result, made worse every time I pick up a newspaper and flick through the arts section. Plus all the twiddly business of moving house has rather impacted on the time I have to spare doing anything that doesn’t involve packing my worldly goods into cardboard boxes.

However yesterday I allowed myself a brief window of escape from bubble wrap and packing tape for the new show at Theatre 503. Called Yoga Bitch, it consists of one woman’s account of a her experiences on a two month yoga retreat in Bali, and as such is so very Edinburgh-fringey sounding that I had to have a look.

And it did tick a large number of boxes on the dreaded One-Woman Show checklist so amusingly skewered by Festival, Annie Griffin’s underrated and hilarious comedy about the Edinburgh festival – stuffy above-a-pub venue; a set consisting of little more than a yoga mat, a bamboo screen and a plant; a monologue about self-discovery, getting to like your true self and, er, that kind of stuff; and, of course, one (American) woman performing the thing.

And yet, Suzanne Morrison, the One Woman in question, has an easy, warm presence as a performer, she knows how to hold an audience and for all her cynicism about her Indonesian experience, for all her anecdotes about Bali belly, wee-drinking, scented candles and Gucci yoga mats, she’s never cruel in her comedy. Better than I thought it would be is, admittedly not much of an endorsement, but well, it was better than I thought it would be.

Oh, and for a look at One Woman Shows of a rather different kind, Helen Smith’s blog is worth popping over to.

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