Lady M @ C ECA
If you have ever skipped to the footnotes, this one-woman show is for you. Dutch performer Anne Marie de Bruijn's sweetly bonkers persona lulls you in, before unravelling right in front of you. It's potent stuff. She poses the question: "Why did Shakespeare give the lady-in-waiting one scene only?"
A fun, though jarring production that nonetheless dares to delve deeper, asking about the wider implications of the lives of oft-underwritten characters, she makes you think twice about the function of characterisation as a means of propelling the narrative forward. Her irreverent style is peppered with that hideous ceildih-techno you often hear spilling out of tartan shops along the Royal Mile, yet it works, with a cogent, high-octane delivery from de Bruijn who is at once stand-up, storyteller and actor.
The tale of the social mobility of the under-classes should be clichéd, yet she makes swift work of that - as with ringing the necks of chickens. When her (unnamed) character does eventually rise up through the ranks to become the-lady-in-waiting, she is the first to discover King Duncan's body, coming to the swift realisation that she has swapped being up to her elbows in chicken shit for blood, examining the neuroses in the Royal Court, craving sleep or just peace of mind.
The bare bones set is off-set by a punk approach to the use of props - a sauce bottle squeezes out fake blood, or is it strawberry syrup? Confetti is gleefully thrown. It is often as though de Bruijn were at a child's birthday party - not an insomniac maid to the Lady. An erratic,nutty but triumphant piece of physical theatre which yet again gives vent to the feminist ideal of 'herstory.'