Fringe Theatre Reviews: Psychological Thrillers

Molly, Cut and Allie – three very different psychological thrillers bring the goods to the Edinburgh Fringe

Feature by Alice Lannon | 24 Aug 2015

Molly [★★★★☆] is a truly tense and compelling play about the life of a sociopath. It's fast moving and gripping: the cast keep warning the audience that there is 'not much time,' as a large timer on the wall builds a constant momentum that leaves the audience on the very edges of their seats throughout. The cast is very strong and the show is extremely well executed – the protagonist in particular is very convincing. The only thing that is a little frustrating is the ending; however this criticism does not hold too much weight against a play that is overall very, very captivating and exciting.

Be warned, Cut [★★★★★] is not for the faint-hearted. It is an absolutely terrifying piece of theatre – in all its 90 minutes, you will not feel at ease for a single one. The audience are led into a small room with seats on either side of an 'aisle' for a very intimate performance. A presenter with a creepy smile warns us that the show may be disturbing, there is only one exit and if we need to leave we must yell the safety word, 'cut.' The show features terrifying total blackouts, as we are led deep into the subconscious of an air hostess – a very disturbing place to be. She sees a man following her everywhere, and – whether this is true or all in her mind – it is a very scary experience to feel so intimately involved in. Due to the fractured feel created by the blackouts and dim lights, this is the closest one can come to experiencing a nightmare when fully awake. The performer is phenomenally talented. Each time the lights come up she is in a new position. You forget she is acting: when she is holding a pair of scissors you do not trust her with them. Captivating and boundary pushing, if you’re brave enough to face it, this show will definitely leave a firm imprint on your mind.

 Allie [★★★★☆] is not as hardcore as its marketing suggests, yet it is still engaging, gripping and funny. A play about female empowerment, it contains a lot of misogynistic violence that is quite hard to watch. The show is very absorbing and well written, with many genuinely comic moments that make it an easy watch despite the violent content. The conclusion is satisfying to watch and really wraps the play up well. The actors have very good chemistry together and are very convincing.

Molly, Pleasance Courtyard, til Aug 27 (not 24), (£10/£9), 4.40pm

Cut, Underbelly George Square, til Aug 31, (£12.50/11.50), 2pm

Allie, Gilded Balloon, til Aug 31 (£12.50/£10.50), 5pm