Dalloway @ Assembly Roxy
One woman shows are de rigueur at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe, but Dyad Productions’ Dalloway is unlike any other. Rebecca Vaughan plays Clarissa Dalloway and 15 other characters in a whirlwind performance that is an ode to Mrs Dalloway’s 1923 London and the lives of its inhabitants.
Vaughan’s acting is terrifically precise as she ponders the lines drawn through London’s streets by the feet of its dwellers, and then proceeds to walk in their shoes. She’s impressive as she changes her mimicry, voice and posture at the drop of a hat to become a flower shop attendant, Italian émigré or an overly familiar doctor. When she straightens her back, slows her gait, sticks her hands into the pockets of her beautifully detailed green silk dress she no longer flutters about like tender-hearted Mrs Dalloway but paces the stage like a slightly gruff, upper-class man in his fifties.
As soon as one character has had its time inhabiting Vaughan, the next is already waiting in line and as a result, the pace of the piece is relentless. Each well-delivered monologue only ends for the next interjection to occur, which can leave the audience in need of a breather. Because of the continuous high energy of the play and Elton Townend Jones’ crafty writing, however, one performer manages to portray the fulness of city life singlehandedly and yet subtly intertwine its different strands to create a coherent piece.